Download military leadership and war in the New England colonies, 1690-1775

Survey
yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Province of Massachusetts Bay wikipedia, lookup

Fort Carillon wikipedia, lookup

Colonial American military history wikipedia, lookup

Transcript
University of Massachusetts Amherst
[email protected] Amherst
Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014
Dissertations and Theses
2007
Men of the meanest sort :: military leadership and
war in the New England colonies, 1690-1775/
Seanegan P. Sculley
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Follow this and additional works at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/theses
Sculley, Seanegan P., "Men of the meanest sort :: military leadership and war in the New England colonies, 1690-1775/" (2007).
Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014. 1946.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/theses/1946
This thesis is brought to you for free and open access by the Dissertations and Theses at [email protected] Amherst. It has been accepted for
inclusion in Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014 by an authorized administrator of [email protected] Amherst. For more information, please
contact [email protected]
MEN OF THE MEANEST SORT MILITARY LEADERSHIP AND WAR IN THE
NEW ENGLAND COLONIES,
1690-1775
A Thesis Presented
by
SEANEGAN P. SCULLEY
Submitted to the Graduate School of the
University of Massachusetts Amherst in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
MASTER OF ARTS
May 2007
History
4
:
^
MEN OF THE MEANEST SORT: MILITARY LEADERSHIP AND WAR IN THE
NORTHERN COLONIES,
1690-1775
A Thesis Presented
by
SEANEGAN P. SCULLEY
Approved
^
as to style and content
by
^
evyfthair
Barry Le
Bruce Laurie, Member
Kevin Sweeney, Member
Audrey
Altstadt,
History
-
•
ii
pepartn*
CONTENTS
Page
CHAPTER
INTRODUCTION
1.
,
THE BRITISH OFFICER
5
2.
THE PROVINCIAL OFFICER
19
3.
NEW ENGLAND'S EXPECTATIONS OF LEADERSHIP
32
4.
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION
46
CONCLUSION
67
BIBLIOGRAPHY
74
iii
INTRODUCTION
On
February
1758, the entire
3,
Massachusetts deserted their posts
initiated
Learned,
at
company of Captain Ebenezer Learned from
a fort in Stillwater,
by the men of the company but was
who had
led
by
men
discouraged and demoralized.
commander of the
the British
York. This desertion was
commander, Captain Ebenezer
their
returned from a furlough to find his
They had received orders from
New
garrison, Captain Philip
Skene, that they would have to remain on guard through the winter
enlistments, however,
to have his
company
were due
to expire
on February
at Stillwater.
Their
1758. Their captain attempted
2,
released but Skene refused to bend.
From
the British perspective,
the colonial force had been recruited to protect the colonies from the French and those
enemy
forces remained a threat. After discussing the
men, Captain Learned directed
of snow
until
his
men
to
commander's decision with
make snow shoes and
reach Deerfield, Massachusetts, the
men
south.
company was
During the seven days
lost for
suffered from frostbite and hunger. Finally, one of the
Knowing
that
some of the
own and that the
built a fire
rest
men
The
deserters
help.
took to
realized that the creek they
his
men
to trust
him one
last
would not make the remainder of the march on
of his company had not the strength to
and went ahead for
welcoming arms by the
injured
it
fort,
two days and many men
were following was near Deerfield. Captain Learned asked
their
hide them within banks
they could escape. The provincial officer led his company out of the
under the cover of darkness, marching his
time.
his
When
help, the
commander
he arrived, Learned was greeted with
soldiers there and a relief column
was
were greeted with a hero's welcome, allowed
1
sent back for the others.
to recover
from
their ordeal,
and sent home. The captain never
commander.
left his
men and
the soldiers never lost faith in their
1
Why would a military officer agree to lead a desertion? And why would
trust
he would
listen to their
War? Was he simply
And why would
a
men
his
problems and not punish them under the British Articles of
coward or did
his decision reflect
the receiving garrison help
something different entirely?
them upon their
arrival?
I
believe this
an
is
extreme example of the new form of leadership that was developed under the provincial
system of military. The provincial armies comprised voluntary enlistments of men
were family,
friend and neighbor
armies required a
who worked
new form of leadership
that
who
together in an egalitarian society. These
engendered
trust necessary to
continued support within local communities. Without that
trust,
new
promote
enlistments could
not be counted on for future campaigns.
In
how the
A
People 'sArmy at War, Fred Anderson goes a long way towards explaining
colonial forces of
their British counterparts
New England in the eighteenth century were different from
and
how those
differences helped precipitate a later conflict, the
American War of Independence. Anderson plausibly contends
that
New England's
with English social
cultural values, reflected in their military institution, clashed
norms
in
Years' War, resulting in a realization
the interactions between soldiers during the Seven
that colonials
were no longer "English" but were "American". While
a social angle
questioning the interpretation of military history from
fruitful,
i
Anderson
fails to
adequately examine
how the
relationships
his
is
method of
compelling and
between
officers and
(Boston: Houton Mifflin, 1903), p. 11.
Rafos Pataaiii M.mnirsnf Rufus Putnam,
Carolma Press. 1984).
(Chapel Hill. The University of North
FreHnderson. A^ep^e^Army.
2
p.
162-4.
men, developed
in
an egalitarian society and a voluntary army, became a unique form of
leadership negotiated in a singular manner.
Fred Anderson understands the relationship between officers and their men,
in
Massachusetts, to be a contractual arrangement that was mainly legalistic and economic
in nature.
This insight explains
soldiers and English soldiers.
maintenance of unit cohesion
New
much about
the differences between the Massachusetts
Yet contract as a concept explains
little
that repeatedly survived the anguish
about the
of battle experience.
England units did not dissolve upon contact with the enemy, including
assaults in the
most violent
situations.
from the Bay Colony and the
throughout the
first
rest
direct
Pay and a contract cannot explain how regiments
of New England could succeed time and again
half of the eighteenth century against professional soldiers, nor
why
England units performed well, when given a chance, against professional armies
New
the French and Indian War, despite the conclusions of other recent historians.
regard,
it is
more
useful to focus
on the relationship between the provincial
in
In this
officers
and
their subordinates.
The voluntary
into battle with
lead
soldiers of the provincial armies trusted their officers to
common
sense and loyalty found
in
them
a unique relationship that
to meet battlefield
incorporated the values of their society, sufficiently changed
conditions.
rely
on
their
soldiers.
Massachusetts could not
Unlike most English commanders, the officers of
honor and a draconian system of discipline
Instead, they led
to force obedience
by exemplifying courage, common
See
They were expected
Warfare in the Colonial
the Wilderness: The Triumph of European
University of Massachusetts Press, 2003).
Guy Chefs Conquering
Northeast, (Amherst:
their
sense, and religious
effective loyalty of their men.
fortitude and thereby maintaining the
2
from
to uphold the contractual obligations of provincial enlistments while enforcing "fair"
discipline against transgressors. Furthermore,
the tactical
when
This
norms developed
it
was expected
in the colonies, attacking
that they
would adhere
to
when advantageous, defending
necessary, but always keeping the welfare of their soldiers foremost in their minds.
tacit
code of military etiquette created a relationship between
totally foreign to the professional
army of England. Rather than
officers
rely
and men
on a complete
separation between classes to create effectiveness on the battlefield, the colonial forces
succeeded by maintaining a sense of social equality viewed as dishonorable by
British counterparts.
4
their
CHAPTER ONE
THE BRITISH OFFICER
Social institutions tend to reflect the cultural values of that society because they
are products of that culture.
Though
in this regard.
The
British
Army of the
eighteenth century
was no
different
the specific workings of the military conformed to outside
influences, such as tactics and technology, the overarching professional ethos reflected
British society as a whole. In war, hierarchy and discipline are necessary to accomplish
victory in the face of immanent death.
The
British version of this took the
form of
exaggerated separation of classes and extreme punishment. Though as much as one-third
of the junior officers came from the ranks (who, without money or patronage,
overwhelmingly remained junior)
officer corps, soldiers
came from
,
the British aristocracy and
its
ethos dominated the
the working class and were enlisted for
offenses against the British Articles of War were punishable by death,
were punishable
much
in 1645.
With the advent of a
series
as crimes
rectify their military mission with the Will
New Model
of defeats for the Parliamentary
forces early in the English Civil War, Puritans in the
need to
House of Commons perceived
A new sense of "self-denial" was necessary,
God's favor renewed and they began
a
of God. Previously, members of
Parliament could simultaneously serve as officers in the army and have a seat
government.
and most
in civil society.
The Imperial army of the eighteenth century was a product of the
Army, created
life,
in
they thought, to bring them
to call for a separation of civil and military
Provincial Soldier on the Northern Frontier,
Steven Charles Eames, Rustic Warriors: Warfare and the
335-6.
1689-1748, (University of New Hampshire: UMI, 1989), p.
3
5
authority.
battle
Parliament was the place for debate over military strategy, not on the
between commanders. This new vision alarmed many
feared further restrictions on aristocratic
power and
in the
A
privilege.
Though
this
new
compromise was
bill
was
4
institution
growing concept of democracy,
authority, Oliver
in
would seem,
which
Cromwell's tenure as
to
military
modern
eyes, to
fit
well with a
power was subordinate
dictator did
much
to civil
to sour English public opinion
regards to a standing army. For five years, from 1653 to 1658, Cromwell ruled over
in
England as a
dictator, using the
his rule over both the
naming
his
Rump
New Model Army to establish
Parliament and English society.
son as successor, Cromwell's army
Parliament was unable to afford
After
encamped
fell
his control
Upon
and to enforce
his death, despite
into disarray largely because
5
its
payroll.
many months of instability, General George Monck marched on London
1660 from Scotland with
his unit, the
Coldstream Guards to re-establish order.
his soldiers outside the gates
of the
city
demanding
that the
Rump
Once
it
was
clear that those
to the authority
Mark
p.
demands would be met, Monck submitted
of the newly elected Parliament
A. Kishlanski, The Rise of the
New Model Army,
Parliament
II.
his military
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979),
The Birth of the British Army (1660-1690),
Noel T. St. John Williams, Redcoats and Courtesans:
(London: Brassey's Ltd., 1994), p. 3-4.
6
Ibid., p. 5-8.
6
power
6
28-40.
5
in
He
be dissolved, called for free elections, and openly supported the return of Charles
4
of
House of Lords who
reached whereby both Houses were needed to approve commissions and the
passed on February 17, 1645.
field
Within a year,
new
in
February of 1661, the
British military institution
under the
was formally
command of General Monck.
New Model Army was
name of the king and
established, in the
This
new
institution
disbanded and the
was
still
subject to
Parliamentary control because funding had to be voted upon and given by the House of
Commons,
new
but the commissioning of the officers
laws, the English
came
army was an expansion of the
directly
traditional
from medieval Europe. Though the king no longer had to
their
own
units to support his
war aims, the army was
still
call
By
King's Guard concept
upon vassals
to supply
viewed as an extension of the
king's authority and, until the end of King James II's reign,
allowances.
from the king. Under the
the late seventeenth century, however, the
was paid
for out of the royal
army had grown
to over
34,000 soldiers and their salaries began to be paid for out of the Parliamentary funding
for county militias,
which were
practical to the defense of a
The
British
still
dear to
many an Englishman's
growing empire.
heart but
no longer
7
army was bom during a period of the
tensions between monarch and
Parliament, aristocracy and bourgeoisie, Anglican and Puritan cultural values.
ground was found, though, which balanced a
found
in
fear
Common
of monarchical authority and abuse
protect imperial
Europe's standing army tradition and the needs to grow and
power abroad. County
militias
were perceived by the growing
British gentry as a
impractical for the projection of power in
salutary restraint to absolutism in England, if
defense
British colonies. This faith in militias for local
8
American colonies during
7
8
Ibid., p. 22-5, 45,
this time.
219-20.
Ibid., p. 22-5.
7
was exported
to the
North
As
stated above, the king
was responsible
accomplished through the purchase system
until
1
The purchase system enforced
870.
aristocrats
for
commissioning
This
officers.
British officers purchased their
the social requirement that
all
was
commissions
officers be
of either wealthy means or noble patronage or the sons of rich merchants who
could afford their commission. Officers were not paid well and promotions were not
determined by experience or merit, but were purchased from a superior officer
of his retirement or
own
his
promotion.
To
wealth or patronage from his supporters
the reign of Queen Anne,
10
selling his
it
meant
commission
rank an officer needed either inherited
The system was open
was not unknown
time
for high
to serious abuse.
Prior to
commissions to be purchased
for
This was deemed beneficial both by the monarch and the
nobility at their birth.
Parliament because
it
rise in
at the
that
that the officer
was
in
charge of his retirement.
It
was by
an officer was able to leave the service and maintain himself
as a civilian.
The
insisted
British system
upon the
to honor.
nobility
Among
of patronage and purchase within the
and wealth of its members,
officer-gentlemen, dueling
send two officers into a
field,
it
officer corps not only
also inculcated primary adherence
was common
The
smallest slight could
each with his "second" to prepare weapons and possible
their family or regiment's honor.
funeral arrangements, to fight with sword or pistol for
Though
were
9
administration of the army, they
these contests were publicly denounced by the
difficult to obstruct
http://www.sa Qdhursl
10
A.J. Barker,
mod
.
when even
generals were guilty of the infraction, as was the
uk/history/i ndcx hi
m
Red Coals (London: Gordon Crcmoncsi,
,
8
Ltd.. 1976), p.
case with Generals William
Howe
and Thomas Gates
in 1778, during the
11
Revolution.
In relationship to their soldiers, British officers
them
loyalty to king, country, and regiment.
from authority
that
army came from
were used
American
had
its
An
were charged with inculcating
officer's ability to lead his troops
foundations in several areas.
Common
by
tradition, so
came
soldiers in the British
a society highly stratified and hierarchically rigid.
to obedience towards the aristocracy
in
Lower
men
class
an officer's social rank
reinforced his authority over his soldiers. All soldiers in a regiment were placed in the
position of total dependency on their regimental commanders. Parliament had enacted a
pay and clothing system that placed the regimental commander
financial and physical well-being.
The commander received
all
in
charge of the soldiers'
allowances, clothing,
food, and pay for his men. His paymaster and quartermaster were then charged with the
disbursal of funds and support
among the
well.
their
by which the soldiers
lived.
This created dependency
officers as
soldiers, not just for their institution (ie. the regiment) but for their
Finally, military
men, on the
field
honor demanded
that officers place themselves in danger, with
of battle. Though they were encouraged to indoctrinate
with draconian discipline to enforce order
in
their
men
combat, the example of the officer's courage
12
gave him a moral authority over his
If honor
and courage were the foundations of officer
structure through
soldiers.
11
men that they would be willing to
which the
Discipline
officer corps attained success
was understood
to
mean the
follow.
authority, discipline
on the
was
the
battlefield with their
difference between victory and defeat in
Ibid., p. 28.
in the Revolutionary
America: A Social History ofMilitary Life
Sylvia R. Frey, The British Soldier in
132.
Period, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981), p.
1
9
combat. Soldiers were required to stand
artillery
and musket
balls
every thirty seconds.
in
formation and face a brutal onslaught of
while firing and reloading their muskets
And
if
they
managed
to survive the
first
at the rate
of once
minutes of this
terror,
they
could expect to face a cavalry charge on their flanks by the enemy's heavy horse. The
training to
make men capable of such
similarly brutal and born
The
tacticians
actions in the face of certain
from the changing
maiming or death was
and technology of the day.
tactics
of early modern warfare were attempting to keep up with the
European
advancing technology of the eighteenth century
tactics in the seventeenth
century relied upon four main types of units. Artillery had become lighter and was no
longer relegated to use solely in fortifications or
field
took the
and decimated infantry formations with cannon balls and grapeshot. The infantry
was composed of two
different formations.
that required forks for support and
To
at sea. Instead, artillery batteries
Musketeers carried heavy matchlock muskets
were unwieldy
in
maneuver but deadly
in firepower.
pikeman,
protect these musketeers against cavalry, the second type of infantry, the
was used
pike, to
in phalanx-like formations.
keep
unit, the
fast
Pikemen wore armor and wielded a long
moving dragoons, or heavy
mounted dragoon, was
cavalry, at bay.
utilized for flanking
enemy's infantry and to drive them from the
The
spear, or
fourth main combat
maneuvers to overwhelm the
field.
changed this
Eighteenth-century technological innovation fundamentally
1690's by the flintlock musket, in
paradigm. The heavy matchlocks were replaced in the
the British army, and those
"Brown
13
Bess".
were standardized
in
1
730 by the Long Pattern Musket, or
Musketeers did not wear armor and the
flintlock, a lighter
H. Herwig, and Timothy
Christopher L Archer, John R. Ferris, Holger
2002), p. 322.
Warfare, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska,
13
10
H E. Travers,
and more
World History of
maneuverable weapon, allowed infantrymen to be more mobile on the
Another innovation, the
ball
battlefield.
and socket bayonet, removed the need for pikemen as
protection against cavalry and they were retired from service in 1704. Instead,
infantrymen became musketeers with the
ability to shoot their
defend themselves from other units on the
somewhat with
accurate
the
move and
Their rate of fire increased
battlefield.
the introduction of prepared cartridges but their ability to produce
was
fire
weapon on
all
sacrificed for a higher rate of
fire.
It
has been estimated that a flintlock
using paper cartridges could be discharged twice a minute which doubled the rate of fire
compared
to a matchlock musket. Flintlocks had a misfire rate of about
matchlocks
1
out of 2
14
.
which seriously compromised accuracy.
aim and think under
fire,
was
that
accuracy was not significant.
15
the barrel
when
men
to
the prerogative of the officer, and so the sacrifice of
For this reason, volley
by platoon, creating a
fire,
or firing muskets in unison
in
ranks and
commanded
rolling fire, in order to increase the overall rate of fire
of the formation. Draconian discipline was required for
face of enemy
down
British officers did not trust their
and on command, was deemed necessary. Soldiers were placed
to volley fire
out of 3;
Soldiers used balls smaller than the bore of their muzzles in
order to ease reloading despite the resultant tumbling of the ball
fired
1
this drill to
be performed
in the
16
fire.
British soldiers accepted their brutal training out of the necessities of large-scale
the
warfare and because of cultural mores. Non-commissioned officers understood
of ingrained
drilling for success
14
David Chandler, The Art of War
15
Hans
Delbriick, The
16
Ibid., p.
on the European
in the
Dawn ofModern
battlefield,
Age of Marlborough,
where unlimited war had
(Staplehurst, England, 1990), 75-79.
Warfare, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1985),
269-71.
11
utility
p.
269-71.
become
the military norm.
And
punishment was well established.
privates, while
still
in
use of corporal and capital
in British society, the legal
Still,
the
summary use of the cane
to discipline
use through the eighteenth century, was becoming less permissible.
Personal violence by officers against their
men was
replaced late in the seventeenth
century by the regimental and general court-martial system, codified in 1685 in the
Articles of War. Regimental courts-martial heard corporal crimes and general courts-
martial
were convened
system
lent
more
in capital cases.
While
more
this
rational
and
protection to eighteenth century soldiers, flogging
sentences of a thousand lashes was normal. In
fact,
less arbitrary legal
was common and
flogging as a form of disciplinary
1
punishment
in the British
army was not formally abolished
until 1881.
Fred Anderson describes the British disciplinary system as one of "justice,
and mercy".
19
The law was an
entity
of its own, an impartial
stricture that applied to
every man, regardless of status. Punishment for an infraction was swift and
often death.
Once
the sentence had been passed, the
gallows or the flogging post,
But
his fate could
be averted,
in front
at
terror,
condemned was
terrible,
led to either the
of the entire regiment, and his sentence was read.
the last
moment, by mercy. The commander of the
reduce the punishment,
regiment, as the representative of the crown, had the authority to
or pardon the soldier altogether.
As
such, military tribunals
became
a sort of tragic
underdog, his fate indeterminate unt
morality play, with the accused soldier as the moral
his commander.
the final minute, and hinged upon the word of
,7
18
Frey, p. 80-1.
Ibid., p. 93.
19
Anderson, A People 'sArmy, p.121.
20
Ibid., p. 121-3.
12
20
By the time
of British military intervention
in the
American colonies
in 1755, a
system of social hierarchy, honor, and discipline was well established within the
institution
of the "Redcoats". Though successful in the European
theater,
and similar to
other like institutions on the Continent, the British military could not have been more
dissimilar to the military institution that had evolved in the British colonies for the last
century and a
half, especially in
New England,
under the military objectives of limited
warfare, the petite guerre. At the onset of the Seven Years'
difference
would prove disastrous
difficulties that
him by
his patron, the
command of His Majesty's
two regiments from
in the colonies in
February 1755,
awaited him which arose from the differences
between North American colonial society and Great
authority granted
in the colonies, this
for the professional British establishment.
When Major General Edward Braddock arrived
he was unprepared for the
War
Britain.
Braddock
Duke of Cumberland,
to
arrived with the
assume overall
forces in British America. While awaiting the arrival of his
Ireland, the
44
the colonial governors in April to
th
and 48
tell
th
Foot, Braddock
them of London's plan
demanded a meeting with
for
campaigns that
year.
He
push the French from
explained that four separate expeditions were planned in order to
in hopes of confining her to the
the Ohio Valley and off of the shores of the Great Lakes,
northern reaches of the
St.
Lawrence.
regiments and attack Fort
General Braddock would head west with his two
Duquesne
to
in the
Ohio Valley. Simultaneously, William
Shirley,
who had been promoted
behind Braddock, would
Major General and placed second-in-command
lead an
would rendezvous with Braddock's victorious
expedition to seize Fort Niagara, where he
of
William Johnson was to be placed in charge
troops coming north from Fort Duquesne.
13
a third expedition to seize Fort
fourth expedition
moved by
St.
Frederic at
Point on Lake Chaplain, while a
sea north from Boston to attack
Governor Shirley complained
Scotia.
Crown
that this plan
two French
forts
on Nova
was too ambitious and should be
scaled down, as did the other governors, and he suggested that Duquesne be attacked
after
Niagara was occupied. The outpost
relied
upon Fort Niagara
and would be more easily destroyed as a secondary
Edward Braddock had
target.
not attained his vaunted position through battlefield
experience. Instead, Cumberland had promoted Braddock for
Braddock was an excellent
for supplies and troops
two other
administrator, a quality he had illustrated
reasons. First,
when
placed in
charge of the garrison and colony of Minorca. Second, he followed orders to the
and demanded that
plan set in
do the same. Braddock' s orders were
to follow the
force the colonists to support him in that endeavor.
He ignored
his subordinates
London and
letter
colonial advice and dismissed the governors with
demands
that they raise the required
supplies necessary
provincial troops and supply the English regiments with quarters and
for the
upcoming campaigns.
21
When Braddock marched west to his destiny,
he made several decisions that were
might not have proved so costly.
not unexpected, decisions which in another theater
First,
need Indian
according to Fred Anderson, he decided that he did not
after the
newly appointed Indian agent
several hundred Shawnee, Delaware,
for the South,
allies.
George Croghan, managed
Mingo, and other
tribal
In fact,
to gather
warriors Braddock
managed to drive the French from the
proceeded to assure them that once the British had
Ohio Valley they would ensure
that
land
no Indians would be allowed to use the
Seven Years War and the Fate of Empire
Fred Anderson, Crucible of War: The
Faber, Inc., 2000), p. 86-88.
America, 1754-1766, (London: Faber &
21
'
14
in British
for
North
themselves.
Not
surprisingly, only seven
guides on the expedition.
Mingo
warriors were convinced to help as
Second, Braddock made
it
known
that colonial soldiers
were
next to useless because of their lack of discipline. Although he had them drilled over the
three
weeks before they began
their march,
he trusted only the 44
ignoring the flexibility irregulars could have given him.
advice of local experts
original plan had
who
and 48
th
Foot while
Third, the general rejected the
advised him to take a shorter route to Fort Duquesne. The
been finalized
in
London by
who
staff officers
ground and did not understand the density of the
in
th
had not been on the
forests or the difficulties
of river
travel
North America. The military experts who knew of the problems Braddock would
encounter were not British officers, only colonial governors and militia leaders.
The
results
stultifying heat.
of these decisions were long days of short marching because of the
Braddock chose
to split his forces, causing a
when combat was joined. Furthermore, Braddock
intelligence as to the composition of the
composed of units which had not
fight properly.
24
Will's Creek, after the
first
of some sixty miles
suffered from a complete lack of
enemy ahead; he
trained together and
Braddock's army had made
rift
less than
also
who
commanded
force
did not trust one another to
25 miles from
its start
point at
seven days of marching, because the path was small and
choked with vegetation. To allow the
artillery to pass,
pioneers hacked a road out of the
Braddock had received news that the
wilderness but the process was taking too long.
for reinforcements.
French were aware of his expedition and had sent
22
23
hurry.
Ibid., p. 87.
Press, 1977),
Monongahela, (Pittsburg: University of Pittsburg
Paul E. Kopperman, Braddock at the
15.
24
He had to
Anderson, Crucible of War,
p.
88-90.
15
p.
Making
the decision to
column
in
split his force,
Braddock placed the
ordci to advance as swiftly as possible to citlu
i
depending on whether or not French forces were present
Braddock
9
1
army would follow behind, improving
theii arrival u>
When
tO attack
the rest of
upon
the load and providing support
1755, they
Canadiens and then Indian
allies,
had delayed leaving the
Irench commander had shamed them into action and a war song had
They were
they had planned
not, therefore, in position to
Instead, the
repor ted that the liritish fired
The
Captain de lleaujeu
two forces met
first,
liritish
killing the
was held
in
ambush
the British
to
forces, the
at
the ford
site,
as
It
was
regroup alter the crossing, forming
b;ick
route to their separate objectives
commander of the
had had time
advance guard. Hank security
discipline
The baggage and
it,
They crossed the obstacle without incident because the Irench
largely of
fort until after the
into an
occupy
Braddock* I Ibices folded the Monongahela River on July
composed
been sung
invest the fort or
Duquesne.
were vulnerable
fences,
Hying
regular inland y in a
main body, and
I
rench contingent,
a rear guard.
firm throughout the twenty-two day march and did not
Yet some historians, Fred Anderson included, believe
it
was
this
'
Their
fail at
the end
adherence to discipline
27
that
doomed
the majority of the liritish soldiers to death that day.
What had
not been accomplished
by Braddock were any modifications
to fight against an
troops tactical abilities which would allow them
1
behind cover and
died
in
fir
ed aimed shots
Fifteen of eighteen officers in the
the fust ten minutes of the battle
That was not luck
Koppcrm;in, p 10
M Ibid., p.
27
3149.
Anderson,
(
Yucible
of War, p
enemy
102-3.
16
The
to his
that hid
advance gu.nl
Indian warriors
knew
to
aim
at the soldiers
carrying swords.
wearing the
silver gorgets
of the officer
caste, riding horses
Instead of withdrawing to better ground, upon receiving the
and
news of
the advance guard's injuries, Braddock chose to ride forward, bringing the main body of
his troops into the
collided,
ambush
one attempting
site.
This caused even greater confusion
to retreat, the other rushing into the fray.
when
the
two
units
Most eyewitness
accounts have called Braddock's actions heroic, placing the blame for the utter
devastation of two British regiments at the hands of only 200 Indians and Canadien
They
militiamen on the British soldiers for failing to maintain order.
fratricide that occurred
sectors of fire and
when
soldiers fired
upon colonials from the
once
on other platoons
rear guard
was
who began
Actually,
arrogance that caused him to make a rash decision.
He knew
irregulars and a
their colonel
few barbarians were no match
of
that crossed into their
killed.
trees and other cover
cite incidents
it
fighting
from behind
was Braddock's
that
French colonial
for the King's finest.
he could be defeated so he rode forward with every confidence that
It
if
was inconceivable
he stood his
ground, he would carry the day. His soldiers maintained their discipline, though they
often remained in only platoon sized elements, but they did not have
give them orders.
back to the
line
and
river,
And
rather than attempt a flanking
Braddock and
his
The
result
effective loss of two regiments.
Ibid., p. 100.
Koppcrman,
officers left to
maneuver or an orderly withdrawal
remaining officers continued to attempt to form the
volleys into the woods.
fire
many
p. xxii.
17
was seventy percent
casualties and the
Edward Braddock was
fight on,
made
support his legacy after the
social status
was
his
courage that allowed him to
institution
at
simply be a siege of a
Navy would
battle.
in
England and
Army
fort.
was
this
His decisions were decidedly predictable, given his
his training as
an officer
Monongahela highlighted a weakness within both
of the British
it
other courageous men, like George Washington, continue to
and upbringing
Yet the Battle
would
It
even after four horses had been shot out from under him, and
personal attribute that
French.
a courageous man.
in the
North American
Not many
battlefields
theater.
would be
in
in the British
Army.
the tactics and the
Not every
open
battle
terrain.
would
The
British
not always be present to keep supply lines open or to close them against the
Time and again from Monongahela until
learn that getting to the battlefield
was
the Battle of Quebec, the British
a battle, and combat in the field
foregone conclusion with victory reserved to he
who had
Army
was not a
the most disciplined troops.
According to John Grenier and Steven Charles Eames, what had developed on the
frontiers
of North America was limited warfare
30
decisive victory.
Instead, raids, ambushes, and attacks of opportunity
wear down opponents or massacre the unwary.
on the
battlefield
that did not attempt the
found small purchase
in this
achievement of
were used
to
British concepts of honor and hierarchy
new
theater.
Frontier,
the Provincial Soldier on the Northern
Steven Charles Eames, Rustic Warriors: Warfare and
...
1689-1748, (University of New Hampshire, 1989).
(Cambridge
1607-1814,
Frontier,
the
on
Making
John Grenier, The First Way of War: American War
30
Cambridge University
Press, 2005).
18
CHAPTER TWO
THE PROVINCIAL OFFICER
There
dispute
is little
colonial armies
were quite
among
military historians that the officers in the British and
The
different.
ability
though, has usually been viewed as effective
disappointing in regards to the American.
of the two systems to conduct war,
in the
An
case of the English institution and
illustration
of two typical officers provides
insight into this predominant framework.
Colonel Ephraim Williams Junior,
who
Lake George, 1755, spent almost half of his
frontier
the
Massachusetts. The
is
as a colonial officer
on the western
first
his father to help establish the
document
31
at sea,
town of Stockbridge,
to pinpoint Williams' location prior to
King George's
a survey he conducted in 1742 for land bought by his father. For a while after his
thirtieth birthday,
he was living
32
Oliver Partridge.
It
in
Stockbridge and working as the deputy sheriff under
can be assumed that he was also a
probably as a sentinel, since there
period.
life
of Massachusetts. After what some scholars speculate was a youth spent
young Ephraim joined
War
died at the age of forty in the Battle of
is
member of the
local militia,
no documentation of a commission during
At the outbreak of hostilities between France and England
in
this
1744, however,
Documentary Life, (Pittsfield: Berkshire County
Wyllis E. Wright, Colonel Ephraim Williams: A
Historical Society 1970) p 5
The Williams Family and the Connecticut River
Kevin Sweeney.W Gods and Related Minor Deities:
31
Valley, 1637-1790, (Yale:
12
Sweeney,
p.
UMI,
1986).
p.
372.
373.
19
Ephraim's
life
becomes much
clearer with his
commission as a captain
in the provincial
army under the command of Colonel Stoddard. 33
During the early 1740's, Massachusetts and
New York were in dispute over the
boundaries of the two colonies. In defiance of New York's claims, Colonel Stoddard and
Governor William Shirley commissioned the construction of a
Bay Colony's western
line
of four
forts along the
border. Ostensibly to guard against Indian raids, these forts served
the secondary purpose of solidifying Massachusetts' land claims. Initially under the
command of Captain William
"Billy" Williams, Stoddard's nephew, supervision
granted to Ephraim Williams in 1745
expedition to Louisbourg.
when
the previous
commander joined
first
the entire fort line along the
western border of Massachusetts, from 1745 to 1746 and then soldiers
this
until 17 5 2.
the
34
For the next decade, Williams commanded
Massachusetts
was
35
Both Williams'
failure
at
Fort
and success as a commander during
time are important. In the summer of 1746, John Stoddard directed
all
the Williams'
under his command, including not only Ephraim Williams Junior but also Ephraim's
father,
Major Williams and
Hampshire County
his uncle, Captain Billy Williams, to join officers in
in recruiting soldiers for Shirley's
While Ephraim Williams Junior was
process
made more
difficult
by the
planned expedition against Canada.
traveling the county
strains
"drumming up"
recruits, a
of defending the frontier from French and
burned to the ground. Technically
Indian raiders, Fort Massachusetts was attacked and
Wright,
p. 12.
Ibid., p. 13.
Sweeney,
p.
373-4.
20
speaking, the fort
was under Williams' command and
his responsibility.
spread fear throughout the frontier and called into question
methods by which
While
this
their safety
was being
the populace the
36
it.
Though he might have
refused to leave his
as ordered or should have placed another competent officer in charge during
his absence, the public scorn
a
destruction
mistake by Stoddard and Williams was serious, the people of the
county tended not to blame Williams for
command
assured.
among
Its
summer of reconstructing
and the entire
was
laid primarily at the feet
the fort in 1747,
Ephraim commanded the
fort line again for another five years
repulsed a raiding party
in
During
that time,
Kevin Sweeney does argue
is
his return
he successfully
that Williams learned
fort in
1
754,
that
though
What
had more to do with kinship and patronage.
at the least
regained his
As Steven Charles Eames
states in his
from the defeat and
reputation through service to the colony.
dissertation
soldiers at the fort
1748 and gained a reputation for diligent management
Wyllis Wright attributes to Williams' return as commander of the
seems clear
Following
of John Stoddard.
on provincial armies of New England, "The
ability to lead,
marked the
in social disgrace
successful, long-serving provincial officer ...incompetency ...resulted
40
and professional oblivion."
over
'
in
1747.
Ibid., p.
374-6.
Ibid., p.
376.
Wright,
p. 35.
7
K
It
Ephraim Williams Junior's military career was
would not end
9
Sweeney, p 504-5.
0
Eames, Rustic Warriors,
until his
death eight years
p. 325.
21
later, in
combat.
far
from
During
his
second
stint as
commander of the
fort line
along the western
frontier,
Williams had the opportunity to face the enemy that had previously shamed both him and
his military establishment.
attack
In a letter dated
August
on Fort Massachusetts he successfully
concluded, tensions were
2,
repelled.
1748, Williams described an Indian
Though King George's War had
high on the frontier. Captain Williams had received
still
scouting reports that French and Indian war parties had been sighted between the fort and
their supply center in Deerfield.
with
that
new
supplies, the
enemy
Though Ephraim's
commander
ambush
forces lay in
managed
lieutenants
suspected, due to the disquiet
among
to return safely
his guard dogs,
a short distance outside the enclosure. Their presence
could threaten to isolate the fort and Williams devised a plan to force the enemy to
He told
withdraw.
fifty
men
to ready their
weapons while he and
an attack around the flank of the suspected ambush position. The
man
his lieutenants planned
rest
of his forces would
the cannon and provide cover and armed support but a chain of events on the ground
thwarted his plan.
41
One of the
fort's
guard dogs found an enemy Indian and attacked. The Indian
shot the dog, revealing his position. At the
same
time, without the
knowledge of Captain
fired upon the
Williams, between 12 and 15 colonials had sallied forth from the gate and
enemy
position,
which returned
another thirty-five
Though
men
fire.
Williams quickly assessed the situation and
out of the gate to meet the
successful, Williams
enemy and
force their withdrawal.
was unaware of a secondary ambush, which was
immediately. Williams led his
men back
to the fort under
led
fire,
initiated
conducting a defense from
of the French and Indians.
the fortification that eventually forced the retreat
He was
carried their dead and wounded off the
unable to assess enemy casualties because they
41
Wright,
p.
30-1.
22
but his unit sustained only three casualties, two of whom soon died of their
field,
wounds.
42
This engagement
colonials
men
was
is
important for three reasons.
certainly wanting.
First,
Bravado overcame good
the discipline of some
tactical sense for the
12 to 15
that left the fort without orders and placed themselves, and their comrades, in
unnecessary danger. The tactical patience of the commander, however, was evident, as
was
his tactical
men
his
time
in
knowledge. Williams utilized simultaneous planning when he ordered
to prepare for
which
combat while he planned the
to catch the
enemy by
surprise.
attack,
knowing
that he
had limited
His desire to drive the enemy from
their
suspected position illustrates his proper sense that his forces' success and survival hinged
upon
seizing the initiative. Furthermore, his plan to flank the
the terrain.
Second, the colonials were properly trained.
contact with the
enemy and
first
No military
plan survives
position, stood their
men
quickly attacked under
ground during the second
attack,
three casualties. Finally, Williams guessed that the
rates for the
enemy were
Williams certainly had motive to
his
assessment was based on the
fire,
defeated
and withdrew to the
without panic, eventually winning the engagement. They accomplished
While casualty
first
the fighting ability of Williams' unit allowed for flexibility to
adapt to a rapidly changing situation. These
the
enemy was sound, given
enemy had
all this
fort
with only
sustained high casualties.
often exaggerated during this period and
inflate success in order to regain
fact that his
men had
some of his
fired five to six
reputation,
rounds apiece from
rods (38.5
"no greater distance than 15 rods (82 yards) - a great many shots not above 7
Ibid., p. 30-1.
23
yards) "
In other words, Williams
was confident
and he expected his rationale to pass muster with
in the
marksmanship of his
his superiors
soldiers
and the public. Taken
together, the account illustrates training and preparedness at the fort that belies an
understanding of the provincials as rag tag and the officers as
Williams remained
in anticipation
in
command of the
frontier forts until 1752.
of another upcoming war and the decline of discipline
Massachusetts, Williams was asked by Governor Shirley to
commander of the
forts
was commissioned by
and then as a colonel
in
first
largely
military
more
were compelled
man
to
to
do with
less to
regiment. Williams
Hudson River
Crown
London
Point
authorities to
Valley. His enlistments
as a
do with Williams' reputation among
his local reputation.
Governor Shirley and other
promote men who could, through
their local reputations,
fill
his
elites
the levies
the proposed units in the provincial armies for each campaign. Williams had
gained just such a reputation over the years
at the frontier forts, despite
prerequisite for
Governor
44
later,
commander.
superiors and
43
years
from western Massachusetts where he had become immensely popular
These successive promotions had
and
Two
at Fort
the governor to raise a regiment in support of the
expedition, an operation planned by both the northern colonies and
came
stupid".
serve again as
command of his own
drive the French off of Lake George and out of the
44
"common and
command
in
which he protected western Massachusetts
one significant setback. As an example of this over-riding
in the colonies,
John Stoddard wrote of Williams
Shirley:
Ibid., p. 31.
George Washington
in a letter to Richard
Henry Lee, August
24
29, 1775
in
1748 to
Capt. Ephraim Williams must be thought the fittest man that is likely to be
obtained. He is accounted a man of courage, has lived at Fort-Massachusetts, and
is well knowing in that country.
It is
generally talked that he maintains good government
amongst us (except Col. Williams)
than he...
that
men would more
&
I
know no man
cheerfully
list
under
45
This suggests that a man's character and reputation that empowered him to provide
voluntary enlistments in his
opposition to Williams,
command was paramount
men
like
who
Pasco Chubb,
in
his
month of delays caused by a
regiment to a rendezvous
at
Albany
England's colonies. In
surrendered Fort William Henry
1696, were either imprisoned or became social pariahs.
After a
New
46
lack of supplies from Boston, Williams led
in July
1755. His unit
fell
under the
Major General William Johnson of New York. The army marched
German
Flats and
New Hampshire
materiel and men, leading the rest of the
New York further north to the
new
fortification.
learned he
It
was
was about
north, through
at the fort to
2500 men from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and
initiative
a
company.
of the Governor-General of New France, Vaudreuil,
Point.
site for
the soon-to-be Fort William Henry, that Johnson
in the
season with three
Carillon
thousand regulars from France and had made his way to Fort
Crown
left
await resupply of both
south shore of Lake George and the proposed
at this site,
to have
regiment
Jean Erdman, the Baron Dieskau, had arrived earlier
fears
command of
on to what would soon be called Fort Edwards. General Johnson
one hundred men of the
in
in
response to the
that English forces
might seize
would seize the
Dieskau decided that rather than defend Ticonderoga, he
position, a few miles below the
and attack Fort Edwards which lay south of his
Wright,
p.
26-7.
Eamcs,
p.
366-7.
25
south shore of Lake George. With a select unit of 600 Indians, 680 Canadians and 200
French regulars, Dieskau began
his
march south towards Fort Edwards on September
4,
1755.
When Mohawk
sent
scouts discovered the large French
three days later, Johnson
two separate groups of messengers, one on horseback and four on
small contingent
Johnson Road
at
Fort
Edwards of their danger. Baron Dieskau had
that connected the unfortified
camp
at
soldier
named Adams, was
foot, to
arrived
warn
his
on the
Lake George with Fort Edwards
about the same time the messengers were en route to the
to
trail
fort.
The messenger on
at
horse, a
shot as he rode past while the four foot messengers returned
Lake George, unable to reach the
fort.
At the council of war
that next morning,
Johnson decided to assemble a group of one thousand colonials and two hundred Indians,
led
by Col. Williams and the
Mohawk
chief Hendricks, to march to the relief of what
they believed would be a soon besieged fortification.
Baron Dieskau had made a
new
different decision, however, with the
he had acquired from Johnson's dead messenger. Since the French
intelligence
allied Indians
were
shift his attack north
reluctant to attack a fortified position, Dieskau chose instead to
the unfortified camp, despite the larger
commander moved
number of colonial
lines in front
initiative in the anticipated battle.
column and separated
Hendrick
in the van,
know
of his position. Dieskau needed surprise
if Johnson
to seize the
as
Williams, on the other hand, was moving as quickly
possible to the relief of what he believed
in
The French
slowly, with scouts on his flanks because he did not
had placed any picket
was
troops.
on
was a small contingent under
siege.
His group
leadership of
into three units, the Indians under the
followed by colonials under the direct
26
command of Williams,
with a
rear guard under the
command of Lt.
Rocky Brook, Williams was
from
his starting point
still
on the
Col.
many
Whiting from Connecticut.
When
he reached
miles from Fort Edwards and less than three miles
lake.
At the brook, between West Mountain and French Mountain, Dieskau was
waiting in an ambush.
He had
captured an English deserter early
decided to trap the advancing provincial force
in the ravine.
hook formation, on the high ground overlooking the
Canadians along the leg of the hook and
end of the
trap.
As Williams'
his
Mohawk
French-allied
initiated
fire
Williams himself quickly
Johnson.
rest
at the
called out to
has been assumed by historians that the
killed.
led an assault
fifty
were
The problem
fired
for
to
and
call
spill his
thirty
Dieskau was
that the
up the ravine, but was
killed
of his men. Another one hundred provincials from
Massachusetts regiment and the remaining
while the
in a
prematurely and only a portion of Williams' force was in the
immediately, along with some
his
It
someone
Caughnawaga warriors unwilling
Mohawks, including Chief Hendrick, were
ravine
French grenadiers forming the curve
kin's blood. Regardless, immediately after, shots
ambush had been
arranged his forces
military road, with his Indians and
forces marched into the ravine,
Hedrick, riding at the head of the column.
was made by one of the
He
morning and
in the
Mohawks began
to lay
down
a suppressive
and General
of the one thousand colonials retreated back to the lake
What had become
the rear guard, under the
command of Lt.
Johnson's position
met by three hundred reinforcements from General
Col. Whiting,
at
was
Lake George
back to the camp, which was
and these soldiers fought a withdrawing action
hastily
forces
rear guard action delayed the French
building impromptu breastworks. This
significantly
and
it
reach the English camp. The
took them over an hour and a half to
27
French Indian commander
Saint-Pierre,
was
who had
defeated Braddock earlier in the year, Legardeur de
killed in the battle.
At the camp, Johnson
built
breastworks from his boats and placed four cannon to
cover the road upon which the French would
assault.
When Dieskau
arrived, his Indian
forces refused to attack, unnerved by the loss of Saint-Pierre and reluctant to attack a
fortified position
his Indians
defended by their
and Canadians to
fight,
Mohawk kinsmen. The baron,
intent
upon shaming
placed these irregulars in the surrounding
woods and
ordered the French grenadiers to assault. These were some of the finest European
soldiers, resplendent in their
European fashion,
white uniforms with bayonets fixed. Marching forward,
six abreast, they
were cut down mercilessly by grapeshot from the
English cannons. Though the Indians and Canadians fired
in support
from the
the French soldiers were eventually forced to retreat, and Baron Dieskau
and captured
at the
in
tree line,
was wounded
end of the day.
At the same time, approximately 150 men, under the command of Capt. Folsom
from
New Hampshire and Capt.
Edwards,
original
as they
The
fell
upon the
ambush.
It
McGuiness from New York, dispatched from Fort
retreating
was
French soldiers when they returned to the
at this battle that the
men
led
by
of the
majority of the French casualties occurred,
were completely routed and the road between the
burial party of four hundred
site
Lt. Col.
fort
and the lake was cleared.
Seth Pomeroy of Northampton and
including the bodies of Col. Williams
dispatched the next day, found 136 provincial dead,
these men were found scalped and bound
and Seth Pomeroy' s brother, Daniel. Most of
28
to trees.
Unable to take
their captives
with them, the retreating Indians had taken scalps
as trophies during the final fight that previous afternoon.
Much
of what occurred during the Bloody Morning Scout
successful nature of colonial tactics and leadership.
fault
is
Though many
informative to the
historians have found
with Williams' decision not to place flank security out during his march to Fort
Edwards,
his intelligence did not suggest a
Instead, Williams
fort.
47
This
is
saw the need
need for them so close to
his starting point.
for speed at the outset to relieve a very small force at the
not an apology for the colonel, for
commanders were, and
are, often forced
to balance risks in order to accomplish their assigned mission. Force protection
sometimes be sacrificed for audacity. In
this instance, that aggressiveness
unsuccessful but not inappropriate to the situation as Williams understood
problem was that
was
his intelligence
was not
as sound as that given to
may
was
it.
The
real
Baron Dieskau, who
able to retain the initiative and initiate his ambush.
At the ambush, Williams' leadership and that of his subordinate officers saved the
day for the provincials. Williams reacted immediately to secure
enemy on
the high ground.
When this
Whiting, quickly established
encampment and
assault
failed, his
fire lines to
his flank
subordinate commander, Lt. Col.
cover the retreat of the main force back to their
forestalled both a general route of the English and an
by the French on the position
and repel the
at the lake.
overwhelming
Johnson was able to erect a breastwork
The retreating forces arrived to
and emplace cannons for the defense of his position.
bolster the defense and Dieskau
47
was forced
to pause in order to regroup his
Ibid, p. 128-39.
SS^fi
^Papers ofSetH Pomeroy, SomeUn.
General
The Soc.ety of Colonial Wars
by Louis Effingham de Forest (New York:
p" 113-6.
29
in the
men
for an
OMftM
in the State of
New York,
1926),
assault
on what had become a
European
tactics that defeated
fortified position.
him
and attacked
his
enemy
at
attack,
was Dieskau's decision
Had he withdrawn,
that day.
of the predominance of his forces to
It
to attack with
given the unwillingness
he could have saved the cream of his troops
another location with the valuable information about the composition of
forces.
Instead, he opted to assault and lost his grenadiers, leaving the rest of
the French soldiers without his leadership
leadership, along with the
when he was
captured.
It
was that flawed
good decision by the Fort Edwards' commander,
Blanchard, to send reinforcements that resulted
in the
Col.
complete route of the French that
day.
This
battle,
along with others to be discussed like the siege
Ticonderoga, will show that the
for
little
at
common understanding of colonial
else than road building and the occupation of fortifications
Louisbourg and
good
forces as rabble
is
really
an
assumption by some historians of an imperial English opinion or a lack of differentiation
between regular warfare and the petite guerre as they were employed
Williams was a middle-class land speculator turned professional
the frontier for a decade before
commanding
his regiment
in this era.
soldier.
He
ability to care for his
number of men
management
military prowess and
men and
for campaigns.
in
at the frontier forts.
guard the settlements meant he could
He was able to
served on
on the Crown Point campaign.
constituents
His promotions were the result of his growing reputation among
Hampshire County of his
Col.
His
enlist a greater
lead well under fire and this ability
was
often
and soldiers with him did the same. They were
not special just to him.
The
officers
too aggressive for their
own
safety and not
all
officers held
30
up well under pressure, but
when
confronted with trained Europeans and Indian warriors, the provincial troops did
not run.
They reacted
to
ambush well and they defeated
31
the best Europe had to offer.
CHAPTER THREE
NEW ENGLAND'S EXPECTATIONS OF LEADERSHIP
The
British officer of the eighteenth century had to
expectations from
social,
many
and military
different quarters.
institutions
Britain had structured her
and from
army from
meet rather demanding
These requirements came from
his superiors, peers,
traditions
Army
and subordinates. Great
which reinforced
evolved from medieval concepts of royal guards and vassal
social divisions
The modern
militia.
started with the Parliamentary armies during the English Civil
produced the Coldstream Guard, the personal force of King Charles
under the
to
command of the John
Churchill,
meet threats from abroad. The
officer
political,
and
British
War which
II,
and expanded
Duke of Marlborough, and Parliament
was an agent of the
in
order
He must come from
king.
words, the British
the aristocracy and promote the social values of the realm. In other
officer
in his
was expected
to
embody
aristocratic ideals
of chivalry,
status,
and private wealth
duty, loyalty,
person and express courage and honor on the battlefield to invoke
and discipline
in his soldiers.
The expectations of the
different.
The
colonial
government of Massachusetts required
ability to raise voluntary
at frontier forts,
colonial officer within his society
its
were markedly
officers to have the
volunteer garrisons
regiments for each campaign season, to lead
which could provide
and to control local militia within communities
the need
war. All of these requirements led to
basically-trained sentinels during times of
for officers respected in their
This respect
came
less
communities for
their military skills
from breeding, though kinship
32
ties
and
their social status.
were important, and more from
their
embodiment of other
member of the middling
community
to
become
ideals.
The
officers
class or better, a
of the colonial military had to be a
man who had worked
a commercial success, either in land surveying and speculating,
gunsmithing, farming, as a merchant, or professional
religious expectations and attend
proven
He
in
He had to conform to
sermon on the appointed days. And he had
had to be trusted to lead his soldiers
men
in battle
men home
made
a large standing army impossible. The coffers of the
government could not afford
on the
frontier,
for the winter.
with not only the mission in mind but
it
and the local communities, consisting primarily
of descendants of expelled English Puritans, would not tolerate
at least
to have
in his charge.
Colonial politics
colonial
elite.
previous campaigns that he could bring most of his
the welfare of the
hard within the
was
it.
Consistent protection,
necessary, however, and so small contingents of garrisoned
soldiers within the four frontier forts had
become
a reality by 1745. These fortifications,
small group of
and the consistent campaigns against the French, spawned a
professionalized officers,
more time
men who
pursued civilian careers for income but
as military officers than not.
Ephraim Williams was one such
who
officer.
served
Though
or as the deputy sheriff of
he worked for periods as a land speculator and surveyor,
Massachusetts
Hampshire County, Williams was the commander of Fort
ten years between
regimental
King George's War and
commander
at the Battle
for
most of the
the French and Indian War; he died as a
of Lake George
in 1755.
Williams' successor as
a
another professional colonial officer with
regimental commander, Seth Pomeroy, was
great deal of experience.
33
Pomeroy was
in the
child
mid-seventeenth century. Born
from
his father's
first
of the fortress
that
campaign
frontier
in
second marriage.
He was
living as such in Northampton.
because his
who had
the descendant of blacksmiths
diary entries place
Northampton
He was
emigrated to Massachusetts
1706, Seth
in
was
trained as a blacksmith, earning his
certainly involved within the
him en route
the seventh
to
at
Louisbourg as a major
to
command one of the companies
town
Boston to participate
in the provincial forces.
in
militia
in the
Pomeroy returned from
Joseph Dwight's regiment on the
and then followed Ephraim Williams on the Crown Point campaign as
second-in-command. After Williams' death, Pomeroy was promoted
command of the
regiment, but forced to return
1745 siege
home due
his
to colonel, given
to severe illness.
Though he
did
not fight for the rest of the French and Indian War, Seth Pomeroy rushed from
Northampton
Battle
to
Boston to
of Bunker
New York on
Hill
fight at
and died
in
on the
left
flank of the redoubt
command of the
on Breed's
Massachusetts militia
in Peekskill,
February 17, 1777.
Though he was not
the product of a military academy, nor the son of nobility,
Seth Pomeroy was a soldier and an officer
in colonial service for at least thirty-two
seventy-one years. Ephraim Williams was the same. These
men had
their families
Indeed, they could not have supported themselves or
other
Hill at the
the
means of income. Seth Pomeroy, while becoming one of
of his
other occupations.
if they
did not have
wealthiest
men
in
marriage, not the inheritor of a
Northampton, was the seventh son of his father's second
large estate. Unlike
Williams did not
men from
other colonies, like George Washington,
inherit large estates to support them.
They had
Pomeroy and
risen to
prominence
secured their military reputations in combat.
within their communities as tradesmen and
34
All of this
was necessary
for
them
to be successful because without their respectability
they could never have done the one thing their political leaders required of them: raise a
regiment to fight for a campaign.
Correspondence between Governor William Shirley and
throughout the colony highlight
this expectation
John Stoddard, the chief military commander
in
of prospective
his chief military leaders
officers.
Writing to Col.
Hampshire County, Shirley
says.
Sir:
I
have received your
contention
among
letters
the officers
of the 19
employed
and 21
instant.
I
am
sensible that the
for the raising soldiers for the expedition
drawing over those that are upon the point of agreeing
with other officers is a great prejudice to the service, and I should have been glad
to have an effectual remedy applyed to their misconduct in this affair, and as I
have oppertunity I shal let 'em know my disapprobation thereof. .The four
officers you mention viz Lieutenant-Colonel (William) Williams, Major (Seth)
and
their solicitations for
.
Pomeroy, Captain (Ephraim) Williams (Senior) of Stockbridge, and Captain
Ephraim Williams (Junior) will be very agreeable to me, provided they do their
part in raising the men otherwise some inconvenience may ensue; but I would
still hope for a fifth company out of your country; and it may be a few days more
will give some considerable advantage to some of the recruiting officers -
would endeavor that all proper methods be used for making those officers easy
who have inlisted a number of men and yet must be disappointed as to their
having any
command
over 'em...
48
In this letter to Colonel Stoddard, Governor Shirley
his old military adviser
on
several problems.
The
is
attempting to
letter
was
solicit
written in the
the advice of
summer of
1746 when Shirley was trying to gather another expedition to head north against Canada,
this
time to seize Montreal while the British
problem was
that
some
officers
fleet attacked
Quebec. Shirley's main
around the colony had not raised enough troops to form
and those officers were
companies. The soldiers enlisted to serve under specific officers
expecting to
somewhat,
48
Wright,
command
units.
The government was forced
in order to create viable units
to rearrange those terms
with enough men. Furthermore, some officers,
p. 15-6.
35
aggressive in their pursuit of a commission for what could be a very profitable campaign,
had been stealing the enlistments of men from other
These soldiers would often desert or claim
assigned in companies with their
Finally, Shirley
officers, to the
dismay of both.
their enlistments void if they did not get
own and under
the
command of their own
had some officers that were very qualified to lead on the
not spent the time to raise their
frontier while the
men
own
officers.
frontier but
had
Others had done so but were needed on the
units.
they had enlisted would be required to march north without them,
a situation objected to by both the officers and their men.
The importance of this correspondence between
military officers reflects the reality that officers
upcoming campaigns and
that their ability to
the colonial governor and his
were expected
do so determined,
position within the ranks. While kinship ties played a role in
as candidates for
Stoddard),
it
was
command
(the Williamses
their reputations
and
to raise soldiers for
were
tied
to
who
in the field.
The
extent, their
Stoddard put forward
by marriage and blood
abilities to recruit that
to John
mattered most. Equally
accepted was the importance of the enlisted soldier's expectations
command him
some
colonial sentinel enlisted for a
in
regard to
who would
campaign season with the
return home. This
expectation of release from service by the winter of that campaign to
meant
that his continued service during a longer
enlist the next
war would
require his willingness to re-
summer.
We do not have to guess how these soldiers felt about their service.
soldiers of this period had a high literacy rate.
experiences and were not reticent
of them. Rufus Putnam,
who
when
it
They often kept
came
Colonial
diaries of their
to their opinions of the officers in charge
promoted to
served as a private soldier from 1758-9, was
36
sergeant for the 1760 campaigns
eight soldiers
from the
when
During
area.
his
growing
his time at
status at
home allowed him
Ticonderoga
in 1758,
to enlist
Putnam wrote:
Mr. Collins character undoubtedly Suffered. .we did not complain - however
when an officer is brought to Solicit his soldiers not to complain of him, he must
.
feal
Small
in his
own
Mr. Collins, the lieutenant
the field
in
eyes, as well as
Contemptable
in the
eyes of others.
charge of a reconnaissance Putnam participated
upon contact with some Indians
allied to the French.
When
General
Webb
Fort William Henry with his 4000 troops located
wrote that he and the other colonials saw
soldiers promptly
enlist again.
in
need of a
began to
He had been
50
desert.
By
had fled
This act of cowardice,
coupled with his desertion of his men, was intolerable. Putnam was equally
generals he viewed as cowards.
in,
49
critical
of
refused to support the besieged
down
this refusal as
the road at Fort Edwards,
Putnam
an act of cowardice and many
the end of this campaign,
Putnam vowed never
to
detached from his company because the British regulars were
skilled carpenter to help build roads
and
fortifications.
Putnam was promised
The
(and he took the assignment with the expectation of) extra pay to complete the task.
British officer in charge refused to
home
for
Putnam's enlistment of other Americans
Many
end of the campaign and Putnam returned
Ibid., p.
to serve for
serve following the dismissal of William Shirley.
in
When Lord
1756, the provincial armies of Massachusetts
p. 12-3.
Ibid., p. 14-5.
51
town would Rufus agree
British officers under
other soldiers saved their harshest criticisms for the
Loudoun took charge of the war
Putnam,
in his
51
whom they were forced to
50
at the
sergeant in return
embittered. Only after Colonel Ruggles promised a promotion to
another campaign.
49
pay
27-9,31.
37
fell
under nominal
was
command of the
able to convince
Loudoun
taking orders from the British high
bitterly
would not
that soldiers
commanded by
to stay within colonial units
Though
British regulars.
enlist unless
command. The Reverend Daniel Shute complained
about the British conduct during the assault on Fort Ticonderoga
on the breastworks, without
when he
could not even be convened the next day!
many
in
upward of 2000.
regular officers a Council of
52
at Fort
Stephen Cross, of Newbury, Massachusetts, a carpenter stationed
enlisted to build bateaux for the
1
756.
He was
that
Oswego,
campaign against Fort Frontenac on Lake Ontario
present for the capture of the fort and
to France as a prisoner
He
1758
ordered a frontal assault
artillery support, that resulted in casualties
called the attack a "rash attempt" that killed so
War
they were guaranteed
colonial officers, they were unable to avoid
believed that General Abercrombie acted irresponsibly
He
the legislature of Massachusetts
was shipped
first
in
Quebec and then
to
at the fort
of war. Cross had marched up from Boston, arriving
3000
summer, just months before the Marquis de Montcalm arrived with a force of
men
Great Lakes. Fort
to lay siege to the fort and drive the British off the
originally a trading post built
and west were flanked by
Rather than build a
new
on the shores of Lake Ontario, next
hills
fort
known
central fort,
to the
men
which was protected
solely
Fort Ontario and the
hills,
These
by
a
unprotected where
fortifications
rampart on
it
its
were
new
Darnel Shute. D.D.. Chaplain
Daniel Shute, "A Journal of the Rev.
XII (1874). p. 137-8.
Institute, Historical Collections.
38
that
Fort
Oswego,
to act as satellites to the
landward
side.
touched the lake and the
»
Its east
fort indefensible.
and abandon Oswego, William Shirley ordered
as Fort Rascal.
Oswego was completely
Wood Creek.
overlooking the blockhouse, leaving the
supporting fortifications be built on both
later
to
Oswego was
The
river.
old fort at
All
m the Expedition lo Canada". Essex
were
fortifications
in disrepair
winter of 1755, the 50
th
and 51
because the British regulars
st
who
occupied the area for the
Regiments of Foot, had barely survived
the winter and into the spring, the main supply route to the forts had
by
and then by French-allied Indian war parties
ice
Bull
was
starvation.
Over
become choked
who had burned down
off
Fort Bull. Fort
the supply center that straddled the Great Carrying Place between the
headwaters of the
Mohawk River and Wood Creek.
finally sent with
300 bateau men he had trained
re-supplied Fort
Oswego
When Montcalm
in June.
arrived,
Lieutenant Colonel Bradstreet was
to fight,
who
drove off the Indians and
53
he decided to invest Fort Ontario
first.
He built
a trench
within a few hundred yards of the east wall, under the cover of a small ridge, and soon
began pounding the wooden palisades to
Oswego and soon twelve
large cannon
dust.
The
British quickly retreated to Fort
were pointed down
Colonel Mercer, the regular British officer in charge of the
back
at Fort
demanded
at the
fort,
blockhouse. Lieutenant
ordered his cannon to
fire
Ontario despite the hopelessness of his situation because his honor
54
it.
our Morning Gun was fired as usual, But A Shot
to be there; we were
Put in it, and pointed to Fort Ontario, Concluding the Enemy
Briched
immediately answered by 12 Shot. Upon which, our Guns were
Severe A Cannonade on Both
all that Coild be Brot to Bear, and as
about
about this time we Discovered
Sides' as Perhaps Ever was, until about 10 o'clock,
On the Appearance
of Day
light
.
force Sufficient
Great Numbers, Crossing the River; and we not in
not safe, any longer, to Keep the
to go up and oppose them, and being Judged
together, in
Men in Fort Raskel, that was evacuated; and we all were Huddled
Manser, about this time was killed
and about the Main Fort, the Comadent, Coll
had the lives of valuable men in
by a Cannon Ball; thus the man who this week
the
Enemy,
in
53
Anderson, Crucible of War,
54
It was
this
136-41, 150-4.
Cross'
Mercer and Montcalm adhered to which caused
concept of professional honor that both
deserve
that the fort fought long enough to
the war. Montcalm did not believe
the deaths
decision winch resulted
and so he had all the men taken prisoner, a
to
they
a lack of fighting, took what spoils
of many by the Indians who, disappointed
loSrment
rekasTbSc
p.
Sg
m
Snd
m
^SS^ment
could
among the prisoners.
39
his hands,
and would not extend Mercy to them,
sue for his
own
now
had not time, not even to
55
life.
.
Lieutenant Colonel Mercer was beheaded by that cannon ball and his death put
Lieutenant Colonel John Littlehales in charge,
who
promptly surrendered. Since the
British did not defend their position long enough, in the professional opinion of
Montcalm,
all
soldiers
and civilians were taken prisoner and those
marched up to Canada the next
The
part
that survived the night
56
day.
of Cross' narrative which
is
most
interesting is his
condemnation of
Mercer. Cross was not upset with Mercer's decision to fight the French, despite the odds.
Courage and honorable conduct was expected on
American
soldiers.
by both British and
Cross hated Mercer for something he had done the previous week,
before the French had been discovered.
siege,
the battlefield
On the
Mercer had brought two American
ninth of August, just a
week before the
soldiers to justice in the British tradition.
deserting.
Several soldiers from both Pepperell's and Shirley's regiments had been caught
As was
as an
man from
usual under the British Articles of War, one
death. Five days after they
example and sentenced to
were shot
in front
each regiment was selected
were found
guilty the
that
of their regiments, despite the pleas from the colonial officers
57
Governor Shirley be
notified
and given a chance to grant a reprieve.
earned
refusal to bear challenge to his authority that
colonial troops.
55
American
fce
Collections,
LXXV
Anderson, Crucible of War,
57
Cross, p. 356.
was Mercer's
him the righteous hatred of all the
Entitled Up o
"Journal of Stephen Cross, of Newburypon;
Historical
Shipbuilders in Canada in 1756", E^sexln^tute,
ed.,
of Newburyport
14-42,
(1939), 334-357; LXXVI (1940),
56
It
and flogging
soldiers expected to be punished for deserting,
Stephen Cross, Sarah E. Mulliken,
G*3f
men
p. 154.
40
p. 14-17.
was not uncommon among
colonial outfits (though not to the severity usual in the British
Army), but the death penalty was deemed
officers to lead them, not coerce them,
New England
cruel.
colonials expected their
and few colonial officers wished to
their
tell
neighbor that he had ordered their son's death.
Further proof of this sense of community
found
in their
among
the officers and their
men can be
shared religious practices. The journals and memoirs that survive
Wars mention which Psalm was
recounting colonial experiences in the French and Indian
discussed during sermon and
who
gave
it.
During these times,
officers
and men were
expected to be treated as equal in the eyes of God and to act accordingly. Often, the
Sabbath preacher would be a private and every
Word of God.
Common
Good
Cross, on his
Soldier by the
way up
to Fort
man was
Oswego
wrote,
name of Williamson Preached
A.M. by
service to be attended every Sunday by
all
.
." 58
.
listen
all
the
men
and hear the
.attended Worship
where a
Good Man made many
According to the orderly
by Sergeant Josiah Perry
Scotia, kept
are to be attended daily at 9 o'clock,
".
believe a
I
observations and good admonitions and councills.
book of Fort Cumberland, Nova
expected to
in 1759, "Prayers
in garrison off duty.
the garrison off duty -
1 1
A.M."
59
Divine
This
colonial
congregation of soldiers as equals was so ingrained in the Massachusetts'
mindset that Rufus Putnam, writing about
was moved
58
all
of his war experiences
after the Revolution,
prayed with his
to complain in his memoirs, "Captain Learned
Company
Ibid., p. 337.
Sergeant Josiah Perry",
Josiah Perry, "The Orderly Book of
Register, LIV (1900), 70-76, p. 74.
59
41
New
England Historical and Genealogical
Morning and evening, and on the Sabbath read a Sermon. (Oh! how
changed.)"
the times have
60
This expectation of shared religious observation separated further the colonials
from the British redcoats.
British officers
meeting with the enlisted men,
if they
would never have shared the same
ever attended a sermon at
officers did deign to attend colonial services,
Following the British defeat
at
Ticonderoga
it
in
was
all.
religious
When the British
usually for an expressed purpose.
1758, Lieutenant Colonel Bradstreet
convinced General Abercrombie to allow an expedition of colonials, lead by Brigadier
Stanwix and Bradstreet, to attack Fort Frontenac on Lake Ontario as a remedy for
British honor.
Though
Bradstreet enjoyed the sympathy of his
participation at Louisbourg in 1745 and his relief of Fort
men
Oswego
lost
because of his
in 1756, the colonial
troops were unhappy with Abercrombie and distrustful of Stanwix. They were beginning
to desert
enough
and the colonial officers were
not, in Stanwix' s
mind, enforcing discipline with
vigor. For this reason, the Brigadier decided to bring his entire
regular officers to Sunday sermon, an act that
was cause
compliment of
for noting in the journal of
one
of the regimental chaplains, Daniel Shute.
Sunday Mr. Spencer,
New York Chaplain,
Chron 32 v. Gen Stanwix
them acknowledged their great
preached
1 1
and ye Regular officers present. In his address to
Disingenuity
goodness in coming to N. America with such noble views, and the
of ye people
on
their
in failing to
wonted Lenity
make them
grateful returns.
in discipline, advised
them
to
And
after discanting awhile
more vigorous measures
to
prevent deserting.
The sarcasm of this
were
religious
man
is
hard to miss. Shute and the rest of the colonials
insulted that the British officers
Putnam,
Shute,
would
interrupt their prayers and use the pulpit to
p. 11.
p. 140.
42
denounce colonial military
hierarchies; they
action
Sermons were not a forum
practices.
were a forum
for
men
all
to
for reinforcing military
humble themselves before God. Stanwix's
was inexcusable.
Such expectations of leadership, of humility and courage, did not come
from the lower
ranks.
They
also
came from an
and commissioned
soldiers, enlisted
these expectations
alike,
egalitarian society that
were a
Condemnation
part.
came from both below and from
men
as a
memoir composed
which he was commissioned as a
memories
general.
as a private soldier informed
by
in the initial
of
Revolution in
his later experiences as an officer.
officers
Yet the
among themselves
the Battle of Lake George.
regiment. Following
ambush between Lake George and Fort Edward, Pomeroy
led the remnants of the regiment in the defense of the
following General Johnson's retirement with a
smoke had
his attendance
His views, therefore, were a mixture of
Pomeroy was second-in-command of Ephraim Williams'
Williams' death
meet
for failure to
after his service during the
most compelling example of the expectations of colonial
comes from Seth Pomeroy following
Massachusetts'
For example, Rufus Putnam
peers.
wrote the passage quoted above concerning Captain Learned and
service with his
all
solely
wound
cleared, however, Williams' replacement
Though Pomeroy was second
in the chain
encampment under Phineas Lyman
to the buttock.
became a more
Once
among
powder
political question.
of command while Williams was
not the most senior lieutenant colonel present
the
he was
alive,
the Massachusetts' provincial army.
whether to promote from within each
Johnson held a council of war to determine
regiment that had
lost officers or to
promote by seniority and
Lt. Col.
promote by
Thomas
seniority.
The decision was made
Gilbert, of Taunton,
43
was promoted pro
to
tempore to succeed Williams
Johnson had received
until
official orders
from the
governor.
This decision to place the regiment comprised mostly of Hampshire men, under
the
command of an
outsider did not
sit
well with the rank and
file
of the regiment.
According to the editor of Pomeroy's journal, Louis Effingham de Forest, the
men had
officer
petitioned Johnson for the promotion of Pomeroy to
from another regiment, and another county, was sent
Pomeroy wrote
small revolt of their own.
regimental colors)
morning brought
incident
shows
that "
.
.
command.
instead, the
62
'
When
men
&
Set
back
&
Said yt he had rathar they had took his head off
It
that
Pomeroy's
up whare
dislike
it
an
staged a
one night Some Person Took
away
it
enlisted
it
(the
aut to be at Colo Williams Tent Gilbart In ye
of Gilbert did not stem from the
" 63
fact that
This
he was
not from Hampshire County. For Pomeroy, and the other officers in the regiment,
Gilbert's reaction to the prank
to
was
Pomeroy, Gilbert was "Famos
entire honor
placed his
in a flag,
a telling statement of Gilbert's character. According
Insulting", a
man who
"So much upon
his
craved promotion and foolishly
Shame'
64
orders arrived
Within two weeks of Johnson's pro tempore promotions, written
to
from Boston. The acting governor, Spencer Phips, decided to bend
local political
regiments. Petitions had arrived from
pressures and promote the officers from within the
war council
Northampton, complaining against the decision of Johnson's
from without the Hampshire regiment, and perhaps
the governor promoted
62
63
64
Pomeroy,
Ibid
,
p.
Pomeroy
in
at
to
promote
the urgings of Col. Israel Williams
county's
order to retain the continued support of the
p. 117.
121-2.
Ibid., p. 122-3.
44
representatives in the General Council.
send Gilbert packing. In
returned home.
Pomeroy
fact,
Gilbert
invited
all
Pomeroy and
was so enraged he
left
the
were
all
campaign
too happy to
entirely
and
the officers in the regiment to his headquarters for a
celebratory drink to toast the end of "Gilbard
Sattisfaction with ye officers".
his soldiers
& Tirony"
much
to the "univertial
65
Instead of accepting the promotion of an officer from outside the regiment, the
colonial soldiers of Massachusetts believed they had the right to decide
succeed their previous commander. And more importantly for
believed
it
as well.
in
He had been
should
this instant, the officers
Seth Pomeroy was almost certainly disappointed not to have been
immediately promoted to colonel by Johnson. After
Louisbourg
who
all,
he had served with distinction
1745 and continued to serve defending the
passed over for Ephraim Williams to
frontier
command
because of Williams' higher reputation and kinship
at
between the two wars.
the regiment initially
ties in the
county but he was second-
neither
in-command. Furthermore, Gilbert only outranked Pomeroy by two days! Yet
Pomeroy' s journal
entries nor any of his letters
of his concern. Rather, he and
decision to place an officer in
his
,
p.
indicate that jealousy
men, officers and enlisted
command who was
placed himself above those in his command.
Ibid
home
124.
45
was
alike, disagreed
the cause
with the
not selected from within and
who
CHAPTER FOUR
LEADERSHIP IN ACTION
For two hundred years, European powers competed with one another over the
cod
of Canada. Competition took various forms from the
fisheries off the eastern coast
piracy of privateers to outright combat between imperial navies.
fleets,
To
support their fishing
France and England each established ports along the Canadian coast and English
Harbor on Cape Breton
Island, or
Havre a
completely freeze over in the winter.
its
Its
1'
Anglais,
was the one harbor that
did not
narrow opening to the sea had a small island
the rest of Acadia
understood that
was ceded
its
position
to the English and
was economically
became Nova
Scotia.
The French
desirable and strategically important to the
to the
protection of her North American possessions because of its proximity
St.
Lawrence River. Therefore,
for a stone fortress to
The
engineers,
Situated
Louisbourg was planned and
Verville and then Verrier, based
among
government of Louis
its
entrance
^T,^"^
XV began to pay
built
upon the
by two French
itself
was
was
large
enough
for
side
66
military
tenets established
rocky coast,
the natural protections of swamps and the
pond. The harbor
mouth of
be built around the town known to the French as Louisbourg.
fortress at
first
in 1720, the
on the harbor
were thick though not continuous; there was a gap
while
in
This port was retained by the French in the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, though
center.
the
rich
its
by Vauban.
stone walls
where there was a
French naval vessels to maneuver within
in the mouth of the
protected by the Island Battery constructed
to
a Continent, (Englewood
46
1-10.
Cliffs: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1965), p.
A final
channel.
artillery fortification, the
Grand Battery, was
built a
mile to the
northeast to defend the Island Battery or the fort against attack. 67
While the presence of the
stationed at
fort
was of concern
to the English, their fishing vessels
Canseau continued to infringe upon French
French governor
at
Louisbourg
settlement. This attack,
1744 detached
in
combined with the
In retaliation, the
interests.
his soldiers to destroy the English
initiation
of the
War
of the Austrian
Succession in the American colonies, was used by the Massachusetts governor, William
Shirley, to begin a
campaign against the French
men under the command of William
London
Commodore
that the attack
Sir Peter
Meanwhile, Shirley gathered a
When the colonial
position and began to
choked with
ice,
left
was
fort
flotilla
Navy
Shirley convinced his
destroyed the year before.
his
army north
fort,
they re-fortified their
Their scouts discovered that the French harbor was
drill
to
68
for three weeks.
arrived and, after a council of war with Pepperrell,
to blockade
Navy and
Indies with his squadron.
of colonial privateers to transport
forces arrived at the destroyed
drill.
army of 4000
plausible if he had the aid of the British
forcing the provincials to wait and
1745, the British
Warren
Pepperrell from Maine.
Warren was dispatched from the West
Canseau, a former British
of 1745. Shirley
New England colonies to produce a provincial
enlisted the help of the other
patrons in
fort in the spring
On
still
April 13,
Commodore
Cape Breton. Though the French were aware of a renewed
English presence south of Louisbourg, Governor
Du Chambon assumed the force
only
directed reinforcements from Quebec,
capable of rebuilding Canseau. For this reason, he
67
Ibid., p. 23-8.
68
Ibid., p.
56-62.
Grenier, The First
Way of War,
p. 68.
47
command of Lieutenant
under the
Annapolis Royal
Chambon
in the belief that forces at
did not send
word to France
When the English
Money had
Pierre-Paul Marin de
la
Canseau were not a threat.
requesting naval support.
forces arrived on April 23, the
not been forthcoming from the
near mutiny the year before had resulted in
needed.
When
Thierry,
commander of the Grand
Malgue, to march on
Crown
little
for
work conducted where
fortress, landing at
defeating a group of eighty French soldiers.
near the fort over two days.
Grand Battery and assess
their
enough to destroy
French
artillery
Ibid., p.
its
comrades
their
own
The
men
him
to disembark
2000
scouted around the rear of the fortress to locate
disposition.
inside.
The men found the
The French,
fort
abandoned and
realizing that they
had not done
guns, detached a force to re-take the battery.
own
soldiers
who
It
was too
and by the next morning the
bombardment of Louisbourg had begun.
65-72.
75-80.
48
little
repelled the
French
Gunsmiths, led by Major Seth Pomeroy, arrived to repair the
Ibid., p. 73-5.
Ibid., p.
Fresh Water Cove and
victory allowed
Pepperrell, notified in advance, dispatched his
attack.
agreed and
70
Directly after the landing, 13
waved
Du Chambon
without ever firing a shot. With naval support, Pepperrell began an
amphibious assault three miles from the
late.
was most
Battery, determined the position untenable and
left
too
it
the British vessels began their initial bombardment, Captain Chassin de
the guns were
quickly
in disrepair.
needed work on the walls and a
the guns be spiked and the battery abandoned.
the
Du
69
Grand Battery was
recommended
men
In addition,
71
The English
beach. They realized there
from the
walls, a position
deter any
artillery
was high ground overlooking
known
to the French but
enemy from emplacing guns
there.
emplacement there and managed,
navigate the marsh with stone sledges.
second
own
forces then began to unload their
and mortars on to the
the fortress less than a mile
assumed to be swampy enough
to
Pepperrell appreciated the necessity of an
after four
He
artillery
days of continuous hauling, to
placed the guns above the town and began a
72
artillery attack.
For the next two weeks Louisbourg endured shelling from two
the walls sustained severe damage, they did not
enough to allow English mortars
became concerned
to
bomb
fall
Though
and neither position was close
the inside of the
as their stores of ammunition and
unable to defeat or destroy the Island Battery and
positions.
fort.
Pepperrell and
powder were
still
depleted.
Warren
Warren was
could not enter the harbor. Then
the French frigate Vigilant arrived to re-supply the fortress. Warren
managed
to capture
concerns over supplies
her before she could run the blockade and, for a while, English
were abated. The Island Battery
still
remained the key to capturing the French
fortress,
without the close support
however, as an assault on Louisbourg was deemed impossible
of the British naval guns.
73
route, Pepperrell
Spurred on by concerns that more French vessels were en
was conducted under the cover of
planned an assault on the Island Battery. The assault
island without incident.
night with the soldiers landing on the small
indiscipline
prominent
and amateurism of the provincials, a factor so
historians
British contemporaries and modern
72
alike.
Ibid., p. 80-4.
73
Ibid., p.
The problem was
85-88.
49
in the writings
the
of
A drunken soldier let out a war cry
just as they
soldiers
were about
manned
to scale the undefended walls of the battery.
their posts
and repelled the attackers
after a
Alerted, the French
two hour
fight that
ended
with over 180 English casualties. Another method would have to be found to destroy the
Island Battery.
Soon
74
after the failed attack
on the battery
fort,
under the pretense that English
captives had been mistreated, Pepperrell sent an officer to Louisbourg with a letter from
the French officers of the Vigilant, describing their
good treatment. The
British officer
complained against French mistreatment of English captives and awaited
reply.
Unbeknownst
ascertain that
that supplies
Du Chambon's
to the French, this English officer spoke French and he
Du Chambon
would not
arrive sorely tested French morale.
He
destroy Annapolis Royal, was marching on Canseau.
soldiers stationed there and then relieve
rear.
able to
had not known the Vigilant was captured. The realization
A subsequent
capture of a
French vessel from Acadia warned the English that Captain Marin, having
English from their
was
Du Chambon
at
Pepperrell dispatched soldiers
planned to
kill
failed to
the English
Louisbourg by attacking the
on two
colonial privateers
who
the soldiers there, the
arrived at Canseau before Marin. Gathering three other ships and
English surprised Marin's force as
destroyed them in the water.
75
it
The
was crossing
intelligence gained
ships and the subterfuge of colonial officers
Warren and Pepperrell then decided
became
to
artillery pieces
74
Ibid., p. 93-5.
75
Ibid., p. 93-8.
sunk
in
by both the capture of French
pivotal to English success.
move some of their
Lighthouse Point, overlooking the Island Battery.
French
the channel to the English fort and
Some
artillery to the
colonials had discovered ten
English
shallow water in the bay and, combined with
50
mortars, the English built an emplacement less than a mile from the
Soon mortar bombs were lobbed within
battery.
This was the
final
straw for
Du Chambon and the French were
army
Pomeroy
feared
& Destroy' d a grate Part of ym
It
would seem
".
."
.
that this assault
.in all
.
76
,
.
forced to surrender.
on the
fortress
Probibility Prov'd Fatal
To our
to plan their assault
human
the French suddenly surrendered.
was doomed from
the
start.
manned by
professional French soldiers and Swiss mercenaries,
continent.
The attacking force was
largely inexperienced.
trial
attributed to
Du Chambon' s
of the
show that
battle
and
77
The French
was
fortress,
the strongest
on the
provincial (and so rag tag) and the officers that led
Only three weeks were given to
learned their trade through
existing French
the walls, destroying the magazine.
While the English commanders held a council of war
proper, an assault Seth
last
error.
drill
and most of the
artillery
it
men
Although a part of the English success can be
oversights and underestimation of English intent, the details
a greater part of responsibility lay with the English leaders.
the
Despite some historians' claims that Pepperrell's plan was to immediately assault
fortress walls
siege.
78
,
in fact the colonial leadership
Reconnaissance was
that the
critical in
made many sound
determining
Grand Battery was undefended, and
when
to start the attack, discovering
realizing that
against incoming French forces. Artillery placement
decisions during the
Canseau had
was key
to
to the battle and Pepperrell
positions despite the
and his officers were determined to establish those
involved.
Pomeroy,
difficulties
no draft animals had been
Soldiers had to haul the guns themselves because
brought. Certainly, this
76
be defended
was an
oversight in planning but the military leadership
p. 50.
77
Downey,
78
Wilderness,
Chet, Conquering the American
p. 98-102.
p. 102.
51
necessary to motivate those soldiers in the
officers
and privates alike pulled
sometimes resulting
was crushed by
in
swamp was
artillery pieces
a broken leg or arm
astounding. For four days,
weighing several tons on stone sledges,
when
a soldier became stuck in the
mud and
the sleds. Yet the officers maintained their determination and their
soldiers did not quit. Furthermore, despite
Commodore Warrens'
pressures in repeated
councils of war, Pepperrell resisted the urge to order a suicidal frontal attack on the walls
of Louisbourg
until all other pieces
were
in place to
allow the greatest chance for success.
General Abercrombie would not be as patient twelve years
There
in
is
no doubt mistakes were made during the campaign. Supplies were slow
coming from Boston, forcing
supplies.
later.
New England
soldiers to rely
on captured French
Clothing and shelter became a problem and disease took
of all was the failed mission to capture the Island Battery by raid
as a whole, however,
month
made
was
siege that required
successful.
many
The
its toll.
at night.
Most
glaring
The campaign
colonials held together as a unit for a two-
separate successes to be accomplished.
The
British
intelligence but
the siege possible through their blockade and with captured
the artillery positions that
won the
it
Navy
was
day, not naval guns. In this instance, at least, the
proven that they could be victorious
colonies of New England, led by Massachusetts, had
on the
battlefield.
by a
Despite this victory in the realm of regular warfare
New England provincial
effective; the battle
army, some historians do not agree that they were
an exception to the
rule.
Particularly,
Conquering the Wilderness,
in
Guy Chet
which he argues
successful militarily occurring in
Louisbourg was
has produced a well researched book,
that there
was nothing new or
New England through the
52
at
particularly
Seven Years' War. Instead,
the colonial armies of Massachusetts and
years from King Philip's
War to
New York
1755 and British intervention was necessary to defeat
France. Chet agrees with Stanley Pargellis,
among
focus must be paid to British forces in the colonies
military institutions
of tactics or
deteriorated over the course of 150
other historians of the period, that
if
one
is
to understand
how
colonial
were formed. In other words, there was no viable "Americanization"
logistics (and therefore leadership) in the
American exceptionalism.
New England
colonies,
no
79
Two other historians have written to
refute this position
Englanders had developed a viable military institution but that
fight the petite guerre or irregular warfare.
historians have presented a
skewed
portrait
Steven Charles
by claiming
it
that
New
was one designed
Eames
to
argues that previous
of northern colonial forces as incompetent
because they focused on major events and tended to favor the contemporary opinions of
the professionals of the era, in other words British officers. According to Eames, colonial
forces
were successful when they used
ambushes designed to
surprise the
guerrilla tactics
enemy and
and conducted raids and
destroy property. This type of limited,
unconventional warfare was necessary to defeat Indian forces and the French
who
French and colonial
favored these tactics as well. Furthermore, when the results of both
major campaigns are compared from 1690 to 1748,
During
this time,
New England,
scale operations. Three
led
New England
fairs quite well.
by the colony of Massachusetts, planned nine
of these were successful, two were
cancelled due to weather or lack of funds.
which one never passed the planning
By
stage,
failures,
large-
and four were
comparison, the French attempted four, of
one was cancelled, and two
failed.
Finally,
through the lens of class. All enlisted
the British officer corps understood warfare
79
Ibid., p. 5-6.
53
soldiers, including their
own, were brutes incapable of reason. Once the
took control of the North American theater
British officers to take control.
were next to
from
in 1755, there
Colonial officers were
was no
little
British
other option but for the
men and
better than their
When
Their actual abilities on the battlefield were irrelevant.
useless.
this perspective,
professional opinion
Army
becomes
suspect.
80
his examination of irregular warfare and ranger units
form of warfare through
frontier
victory that
was
characteristic
Instead, a particularly violent
attrition,
on the
of European
battles in this era.
In the
American colonies,
in this
manner.
form of petite guerre, one which combined unlimited war
evolved that incorporated scalp hunting and ranging to extirpate Indian
81
populations.
Again, previous historians were blind to American successes because they
tended to focus on professional armies and regular warfare. In
the era had experience in irregular tactics.
Among the
fact,
European armies of
French, such tactics were
Grand-Maison,
incorporated into the professional structure under Marshal
treatise
distinct
For Grenier, regular warfare incorporated limited war with decisive
however, there was not the infrastructure or the necessity to wage war
with
seen
Braddock's decisions become obvious and British military
John Grenier also takes the position that colonial forces had developed a
American
so
on the
The
subject.
British
Army had
who wrote
a
a less favorable view of guerrilla tactics,
however. While the methods of the petite guerre were
utilized in Scotland
and Ireland,
necessary against criminal
such tactics were viewed as criminal, used only when
elements. Irregular warfare
reason, irregular forces
80
Eames, Rustic Warriors,
81
Grenier, The First
was
were not
distasteful
and to be avoided when not needed. For
institutionalized in the British
p. 16-29.
Way of War,
p. 1-15.
54
Army
that
prior to the Seven
War and
Years'
colonial units designed to fight in such a
manner were scorned.
the Seven Years' War, however, American rangers were employed
regulars began to understand that they
were required
if the British
when the
were
to
82
During
British
overcome the
hazards of fighting in the North American wilderness.
Grenier focuses upon ranger units to highlight the effectiveness of colonial forces,
both north and south,
in their
of War" was eventually incorporated into the
nineteenth century.
colonial forces
He contends that this
uses of irregular warfare.
Combined with Eames'
institution
US Army
of the
"First
Way
by the
assertions that both regular and irregular
were more successful than previously depicted, Guy Chet's argument
against a peculiar "American" system of combat effectiveness appears untenable. In fact,
the colonial armies of New England were successful for over a century in defeating both
Indian and French forces and a key element of that success was their development of a
coercion.
military leadership that could direct volunteer soldiers without recourse to
Military leadership, tactics, and
weapons
all exist in
relationship to one another.
battlefield. In
Tactics evolve as technology changes the tools used on the
instances, this
War,
happens with a lag time and the
frontal assaults, like Picket's
necessary because that
rifles,
tactic,
Charge
at
result is slaughter.
Gettysburg,
made unsupportable with
American
Civil
doomed many more men than
the advent of mass-produced
been changed to meet the
quick-loading carbines, and improved artillery had not
realities
of military technology. General James Longstreet
is
rumored to have predicted
could affectively utilize the
that only a defensive war, in trenches,
possible by the 1860's. This
82
83
In the
many
Ibid., p.
102-14
Ibid
115-45
,
p.
came
to pass, with even
55
worse
awesome firepower
results, in
Europe from 1914
1918. Finally, with the invention of the tank, and tactical evolutions
feasible offensive tactics of support by fire and
at
Sandhurst,
maneuver allowed Allied forces
to
make
key breakthroughs and force Germany to surrender.
If tactics, then, are a function
tactics? In
World War
of weaponry,
small unit leaders in the
II,
how
is
leadership a function of
US Army
had more autonomy than
ever before because tactics and technology determined that their decisions were
necessary to win the
No
fight.
forces like chess pieces.
longer could generals
Men moved
in
sit
atop the
hill
and move
their
squad and platoon formations, requiring the
leadership of sergeants and lieutenants to clear houses and flank machinegun positions.
In the Philippines in 1945, a reinforced
Ranger company was dispatched to rescue 500
Though
prisoners of war taken by the Japanese after the defeat at Bataan.
commander, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Mucci, was
the planning and execution
84
was
Every Ranger was trained
fire
team
level
was seen
In the British
in
left
to the
company commander, Captain Robert
the position above
Army of the
him because leadership down
eighteenth century, leadership
under
command
fire, that
came
The inaccuracy of muskets
strict hierarchy.
Bess", combined with the ingenious
in close order
overall in charge of the expedition,
Prince.
to the
as essential to success.
draconian discipline and
remain
the battalion
new
tool of the bayonet,
in the
like the
demanded
form of
"Brown
that formations
that
soldiers reload standing despite the carnage, and
to charge, soldiers followed that
when given
the
how would
that picture look if the tools
command
were changed? Soldiers
unflinchingly. Yet
in the
Massachusetts
hatchet
until around 1758. In fact, the
provincial regiments did not carry bayonets
84
Hampton
Sides,
War
Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World
York: Anchor Books, 2002),
p.
120-2.
56
11
's
Greatest Rescue Mission,
was
(New
the melee
enemy
weapon of choice. Bayonet charges were thought
in the
woods and formations were
not to
work well
against an
Though both
difficult to hold in close terrain.
these assertions were tested during the Seven Years' War, in the battles of La Belle
Famille and Busy
fought
in
Run where bayonet
charges did rout Indian forces, usually the enemy
a dispersed manner not conducive to such tactics.
As a
whether French or Indian, did not bring large forces into open
conventional fashion of columns and
along with a change in society
in
files.
rule, the
fields
and
enemy,
fight in the
Tactics were different in North America and,
New England there came a change
in military
leadership.
Leadership
is,
however, more complicated than simply a method for maneuvering
troops given a specific kit of combat technology. The most obvious, and recent,
juxtaposition to illustrate this point would be the Soviet bloc forces and the
the 1980's. Both nations had large land armies that utilized comparable
machineguns and
tanks.
Yet the leadership
styles
different, if comparably suited to the realities
among
US
forces in
rifles,
these forces were quite
of modern warfare. While the
US Army
non-commissioned officer
adjusted to an all-volunteer force, training a professionalized
corps and retaining
Soviet model
its
method of teaching each
was based on
USSR decided to
political hierarchy
soldier the job of the
and the
produce more equipment and
tactics
man above
him, the
of mass formations. The
utilize its large population to
overwhelm
political credentials and soldiers were
an opponent. Officers were selected for then
conscripted.
The
result
often, in indecision
was
a
more
resulted,
centralized form of military leadership that
was
once a platoon leader or company commander
57
killed.
What
becomes
clear
the
is
way
in
which the society from within which a
military institution
is
created reflects the methods used by that military to lead soldiers.
This was certainly the case
is
more involved than simply the
basic issue
among
is
whether
armies of New England and though
us
it
worked on the
field
Army won the war through
was Lord Loundoun, with
transportation corps in the North
British success
it
contractual concepts put forward by Fred Anderson, a
of battle
in the eighteenth century.
other "supporters" of the British system, has argued that
Chet, the British
tells
it
in the provincial
his attention to details
tactics
did not. According to
He
superior logistics and transportation.
and
American colonies, which
by 1760. Irregular
it
Chet,
his creation
laid the
were not uncommon
in
of a
foundations for
Europe; they were
simply not utilized by British professional establishment. Instead, partisans and local
mercenaries were used to conduct raids and to gather intelligence. The problem
America was
that the provincial armies
soldiers and ineffective officers
inefficient
and
frustrating.
made
were so bad
at
in
North
those tasks. Their undisciplined
dealing with colonials, for the British, too
The establishment of irregular and
light infantry tactics, suited
that British tactics should
to the colonial theater of war was, therefore, not an admission
85
change
fold.
but a necessity.
The
The weaknesses
in
He
tactics
of the defensive) and he incorporates
soldier or unit
definition, the assault
eighteenth century.
Chet,
Chefs argument about
p.
tactics
it
themselves.
and American units are two-
wrongly defines the
defines the tactics of the offensive too narrowly (and so
For Chet, a
85
provincials could not be trusted to do
is
strategic
only on the offensive
maneuver with
if they are
real offensive tactics
unit stopped, or utilized cover, that unit
126-130, 135-7.
58
maneuver.
moving forward. Under this
and the flanking maneuvers are the only
Once a
tactical
was on
of the
the defensive.
His definition of these terms would then place an ambush
defensive,
where the elements of surprise and audacity, 86
more sense
category of the
in the
are critical to success.
to consider a military operation as offensive or defensive in
its
It
makes
characteristics,
planning, and objectives. If the defense embodies the characteristics of preparation,
security, disruption,
massed
effects,
and
flexibility, its
purpose
is
attack under less than favorable conditions in order to re-gain the
to force the
initiative.
enemy
to
In contrast,
the characteristics of the offense (surprise, concentration, tempo, and audacity) combine
initiative
with maneuver to either destroy the enemy or seize
the objective that determines the type of operation and in
In either case,
terrain.
many
it is
instances both sides can
be on the attack, though not both on the defense.
The
this is
intent here
is
not to write a presentist history of military doctrine. Rather,
an argument for enduring principles of war that define very concrete characteristics
evident in combat throughout history. In other words, while tactics change, operations
can defined as offensive or defensive utilizing the same definitions that apply today. The
variation in warfare
comes from
the different technologies and tactics
employed
to
accomplish these fundamentals and the leadership utilized to motivate soldiers on the
battlefield.
It is
these characteristics which Chet overlooks in his argument for the
European
dominance and success of the defense
in
and weakens his argument against the
viability
tactics during the eighteenth century
of provincial troops
in the theater
of New England
during this period. Instead, the colonial tactics and leadership
86
Field
Manual 3-90
5
Heavy Brigade Combat Team Combined Arms
Headquarters, Department of the Army,
87
Ibid., p.
88
p. 5-1 to 5-4.
6-3 to 6-6.
Ibid., p. 5-38.
59
Battalion,
March 2005
of war
incorporated both the offense and the defense, combined irregular warfare within a more
conventional structure, and evolved a leadership model that provided direction and
motivation to a largely all-volunteer force.
The
imperial forces of both France and England brought with them certain
technological advances and definitely different ideas of how to
wage warfare
America. The influx of professional European armies brought with
regular
war
into a theater in
which
it
in
North
a desire to import
irregular tactics had previously dominated. Primarily,
they imported a need for complex fortifications in the style of Vauban and therefore the
need for
large contingents of artillery and mortars to invest those forts.
War
throughout the Seven Years'
fortresses,
are a series of battles, centered
which required the building of roads and
What
is
seen
on European-style
large logistics trains to support the
attacker's investment. British colonial forces adapted to these changing conditions of
war though the
British
Army
decided not to use them to their capabilities for
political
and
social reasons.
At the Battle of Ticonderoga
British force to date
in 1758,
of 16,000 troops. His second-in-command, Lord Howe, led the
advanced guard north on Lake George,
body of British and
General Abercromby assembled the largest
colonial troops.
in front
of 1000 vessels transporting the main
With him were the ranger companies of Major
command of Colonel Jedediah
Robert Rogers and a Massachusetts regiment under the
Preble.
They landed on the north shore of the
emplaced
there.
Among them was a
Rehoboth, Massachusetts.
Howe. ..It was the
first
skirmish of the
battle.
Lord
Rangers was the first to land. He was joined by
balls and
engagement 1 had ever seen, and the whistling of
his
first
immediately attacking French pickets
sixteen-year-old private, David Perry from
He described the
"Major Rogers, with
lake,
60
roar of musquetry terrified
the trees behind which the
who,
Preble,
I
well remember,
man down who
that
I
killed."
This
a harsh man, swore he
new
still
the rangers
would knock the
first
life
into
and when
came to see the blood run so
me. Lord Howe and a number of other good men were
to be shot
at.
.
I
89
encounter as described by Private Perry
first
came on shore and
British landing.
instinct
put
it
was
should step out of his ranks which greatly surprised me, to think
must stand
freely,
me not a little. At length our regiment formed among
men kept stepping from their ranks for shelter. Col.
is
important for three reasons.
First,
successfully repelled the French pickets sent to disrupt the
Second, the Massachusetts regiment stood up under
of many new recruits to hide behind cover. And
very few British officers respected by the
third,
fire,
despite the
Lord Howe, one of the
New Englanders, was killed
during the
first
volleys of the battle.
Abercromby landed
Lord Howe, decided
his full force
to wait for
soon
after and,
upon discovering the death of
two days before attacking the French
at
Fort Carillon.
During that time, the Marquis de Montcalm, recently arrived from Quebec, began
furiously
fort.
working
his officers
and
to build a breastwork in front of the dilapidated
A trench was dug in front of a wall
defense, for as
much
obstacle, called an abatis,
all
sandbags. In front of this
the trees were cut
The branches were sharpened
down and
like stakes
left
little
that the ruinous condition
overwhelming force would
prevail.
intelligence and, therefore,
of the
fort
no
would hinder French
The rangers and
lying in a
and the entire
formed an engagement area to trap assaulting enemy
Abercromby attacked with
He assumed
made of logs and
as 100 yards or more,
tangle of limbs and stumps.
his
men
forces.
artillery support.
resistance and that
the provincial light infantry
behind the cover provided by
marched forward and took positions on the flanks and
attack performed
abatis defenses as support for the frontal
89
David
Perry.
"The Life of David
Perry".
Th P Magazine of History,
61
by the
regulars.
1928: 137.
p. 9.
Almost
the
immediately, the British formations were
1500 soldiers
in
lost their lives in those trees.
Timothy Bagely's regiment, recounts from
shambles and, for the next eight hours, over
As Archelaus
Fuller, a soldier in Colonel
his position behind a log,
"But before the Reagelers came up the fier began very hot the Regalors hove
down thair pak and fixed their bayarnits came up in order stod and fit very
coragerly our men droed up very ner and was ordered to make a stand the fit
came on very smart it held about eaght ours a sorefiill Sit to behold the Ded men
and wounded Lay on the ground hauing Som of them legs thir arms and other
Lims broken others shot threw the body and very mortly wounded to hear thar
cris
Indeed,
and se
wave
after
thair bodis lay in blod. .."
wave of British regiments were
French without any soldier making the breastwork
fire.
"raised his head a
One of his comrades
itself.
was not
there as well, to support the assault though he
to
flung into the
little
David Perry's regiment was
able to raise his head long enough
above the
log,
in the center of the forehead, and tore his scalp back to the crown
coming of nightfall, the
boats.
Rumors
Battle of Ticonderoga
his artillery to the high
of the battle
him
Finally, with the
first
on the lake headed back to the burnt
.
was
the greatest British defeat of the war, along with
Monongahela. Without doubt, the defeat
move
" 91
ball struck
the French and Indians were in pursuit turned retreat into a rout as
of Fort William Henry
The
and a
British regulars retired and the provincials finally left for the
thousands of British soldiers fought to be the
shell
zone created by the
kill
ground and
in regards to the caliber
lay solely in the decision
by Abercromby not
shell the fort into submission.
of the provincial soldiers
is
that
it
The importance
shows us
colonial
Expedition Against
Fuller of Middleton, Mass., in the
Archelaus Fuller "Journal of Col. Archelaus
Collections, XLVI (1910), p. 214.
Ticonderoga in 1758", Essex Institute Historical
90
,
91
92
Perry, p. 10.
Anderson, Crucible of War,
p.
240-6.
62
to
soldiers under
heavy
fire for
provincials, like Rufiis
front of their friends.
in
hours
at a
time
who
did not crumble or
Some
Putnam, volunteered to go forward rather than appear cowards
These soldiers were certainly not
any manner that would have been recognized by
Yet they followed
flee.
their officers
in
drilled into a disciplined force
their British, or French, counterparts.
and noncommissioned officers into a hellish scenario and
did not withdraw until nightfall.
The
doctrinal
weaknesses
in
Chefs
thesis that concern tactics
and focus on
conventional warfare weaken his interpretation of colonial forces, both in the regiments
and
in the ranger
companies. To better judge the effectiveness of the rangers and
regiments, a historian must analyze their purpose, what they were designed to
accomplish. The rangers were organized to
and to bring back
intelligence.
infiltrate, to
They were successful
the French pickets. Furthermore, Grenier's
book
at
destroy property through raids,
Ticonderoga when they defeated
highlights ranger units led by
Ben
the
Church, John Gorham, Robert Rogers and others in their successful campaigns from
western frontier of Massachusetts to
The
Nova
94
Scotia.
provincial regiments were light infantry.
When these units were used
for
during the final assaults at
their intended purposes, such as their supporting role
Ticonderoga, the colonials did not break, they did not
has,
rabble, without honor,
warfare
94
The
bias of British officers
professionals the colonials
however, lasted through the twentieth century. For these
were
93
falter.
(ie.
Putnam,
The
British
men who
Army). Chet
could not emulate the model of eighteenth-century
asserts that partisans in
p. 24.
Grenier, p. 16-35, 66-77.
63
Europe
(local fighting units
utilized
by the British Army
deemed
distasteful to professional officers)
in the
European theater to perform
unnecessary before the Seven Years'
model. Instead, what
is
important
is
made
War and
military operations
a professional light infantry
colonial incompetence changed that
that the British
Army had
never attempted to
incorporate partisans into their institution before and their insistence that colonial troops
act like British soldiers often placed these units in situations for
designed.
When the British
did create a regiment for ranging, the 80
due to Thomas Gage's insistence on patronage among
placed back in
command of British
were ever
Ephraim Williams served
professional.
War but
also
in
commanded
Some were
a fort
on the
professionalized in the conventional sense.
many
officers
frontier
all
conflicts.
in the
life.
Seth
Rufus Putnam
Though these men, and many
They did not
They did not earn their
lives,
like
they were not
attend schools such as
livings solely in uniform.
their higher ranks,
on
William Pepperrell, were promoted to higher command based
its
and Rogers' was
most of his adult
between
of their
had experiences of war before attaining
even that example has
failed
campaigns of both King George's War and the Seven
them, fought for their colony and their country
or, later, Sandhurst.
it
definitely life-long soldiers.
rose from private to general in the Revolutionary War.
Woolwich
of Foot,
few men involved
conflicts,
his colony as a military officer for
Pomeroy was not only involved
Years'
his officers
th
95
ranger operations.
Throughout the war, and the previous colonial
provincial armies
which they were not
some,
Though
like
their social status.
Yet
the
extenuating circumstance since there was no one with
lead the expedition to Louisbourg.
required experience in Massachusetts at the time to
95
Grenier,p. 115-45.
64
Instead, Pepperrell's impeccable reputation
instill
was deemed
the most important quality to
public confidence in the operation and to encourage voluntary enlistments. 96 For
the large majority of officers, their experience of war over decades gave them the
knowledge
British
to fight and to lead.
Army and from
trial
They learned
and
error.
drill, tactics,
They had
to
and discipline from both the
modify what they were taught by the
professionals of the age to suit their particular social situation.
who were
And
they had soldiers
not strangers to violence.
Barry Levy,
in his
paper "Boston Sports: Masculine Play and the Growth of a
Maritime City, 1640-1790",
how
relates
systems of both Boston and Salem
violence
In the
was sanctioned within
the school
rough and deadly world of eighteenth-century
merchant marines, physical toughness and leadership was necessary to survival
Boys and young men created
their
own
hierarchy based
upon the strong
in
at sea.
which fighting
and hazing was the norm. Gangs existed that fought each other for honor each Pope's
Day with
fists
and clubs and pipes. These Massachusetts communities closed themselves
to strangers and cultivated their
explained
own
leaders through a system of "play" as
97
it.
The reading of journals from
Often the descriptions of battle are
written years after the facts related,
the soldiers in this era might appear surreal to
clinical
and devoid of trauma.
memoirs designed
them and some of the information gathered came from
Eames, Rustic Warriors,
p.
some
Of course, many were
to prove that the soldier in
This
question had served in war and was entitled to a pension.
96
Levy has
is
not the case with
letters written
only days
all
after,
330-1.
1640-1790", Five
the Growth of a Maritime City.
Barry Levy, "Boston Sports: Masculine Play and
Colleges' Seminar, 2006.
97
65
of
letters
meant to inform family members back home
many of these men were
enlisted), they often
quite
that a loved
young (David Perry was only
one had
sixteen
Though
died.
when he
first
bore up well under the strains of combat. Perhaps their upbringing
could explain some of this. That could also help illuminate more reasons
leadership of the provincials in Massachusetts
was based
less
on
class
why
the
and more on
reputation.
The
frontier
no
life-long experiences of war in the colonies, specifically along the western
of New England, accustomed
They came from
different.
first
the
effect
and sometimes
to violence.
not.
The
were
leaders of these forces
same towns and communities. They sometimes served
They learned
as privates and sergeants.
good
men
their trade
through experience, sometimes to
Yet they had managed, prior to 1756, to maintain
their
borders against the French and French-allied Indians and even capture a fortress the likes
of Louisbourg. The introduction of large numbers of imperial forces, both British and
French, fundamentally altered the methods by which war was waged. This climate of
change forced the colonials to
defending more
forts,
alter their tactics
somewhat, by extending enlistments,
and enforcing stronger discipline.
It
also forced the British
kneeling
to change, creating a light infantry regiment that reloaded
behind
trees.
But neither
of leadership. In
their
institution
this area
changed
their
down and
system of officership or
Army
fired
their
from
methods
of military culture, among others, the two communities found
source of
fundamental difference which Fred Anderson has identified as a
separation for another time.
66
CONCLUSION
The nature of military
leadership and tactics has been debated for millennia. Sun
Tzu wrote The Art of War to teach
his student, the
Emperor,
how best to
defeat the
enemies of China. Likewise, Machiavelli attempted to teach the prince of Florence
strategies that
would protect
his land
from the encroachments of the French. Carl von
Clausewitz argued that war should be viewed as an extension of politics while his
contemporary, Henri de Jomini wrote his Art of War to expose the secrets of Napoleon's
while securing his promotion within the Russian Army. This
tactical successes
ongoing dialogue that
throughout history as
is
as important for
it is
what
it
tells
is
an
us about the tactics utilized
for the universal principles these writers propose as the
foundations of their works.
Part of this dialogue in the present and immediate past has concerned the
by a democracy
difficulties faced
recently as his answer to the
inefficient
that
Niall Ferguson wrote Colossus
wages war.
American problem of Iraq. For him, democracies
and so wage war uneconomically. Furthermore, because of their republican
nature wars cannot be drawn out. The electorate will eventually
in taxes
are
and
The answer
lives,
and the
political will to
to this universal
American people
costs,
accomplish the objectives will wither away.
problem within the immediate context
that liberal empire, a system in
is
stability, is necessary.
could convince the American public of this, perhaps a
67
to convince the
which American hegemony
recognized but openly promoted to provide world
political elites
grow tired of the
If
total
is
not only
American
war concept
could be utilized to defeat worldwide terrorism. 98 This would mean fighting the Global
War on Terrorism
as if we
were
fighting
World War
II again.
This idea that democratic societies are not well
are
many examples of wars whose outcomes
ability.
Though
this
made
for
war
used to wage war? Soldiers
who have been raised to
who
how
not new. There
turned more on political will than tactical
author tends to agree with Clausewitz, that war
means, what do these debates say about
is
is
politics
democracies function within the
voluntarily enlist in military service,
by another
institutions
men and women
believe that their opinion has national and international
importance through their vote, will be willing to submit to military discipline only so
They
will not enlist for
life.
They
will not submit to draconian punishment.
not accept orders based solely upon the class or status of their superiors.
they will
become very
Such
will
soldiers
assume
seems that
need leadership. While they learn discipline and combat
a society in
their right to
will
inefficient soldiers.
always require direction, motivation, and purpose
come from
It
They
far.
which they expect
do
so,
authority structure based
if they are to
skills,
they
succeed. If they
to rise economically and socially, or at least
they will only volunteer to serve in a military with an
upon
merit, not class.
Though
these factors
all
seem
to be
for success. The
stumbling blocks to an effective military, they are actually the impetus
demands of a democratic
become more involved
Officers
society necessitate innovations in military structure.
in all aspects
of their soldiers' lives and must earn the respect of
become as professional as their officers
those they lead. Noncommissioned officers must
and gain the same reputations for leadership and
loyalty.
Soldiers must be taught the
Penguin Press, 2004). See
's Empire, (New York:
Niall Ferguson, Colossus: The Price ofAmerica
61-104.
1-33
specifically the introduction and chapter 3, pp.
98
&
68
requirements of those above them and be given the opportunity for promotion based on
merit.
Authority becomes decentralized which, while requiring more communication and
risking a certain degree of inefficiency, also promotes initiative at the lowest levels and
allows for quick replacement of those wounded or
The
killed.
provincial armies of Massachusetts exhibited
their history as colonial forces
Their greatest success
came
in
and even into the
1745
system continued to function though
at
many of these
first battles
officers, like
that, their military
had to adapt quite quickly to changes imported by
the great empires through which the conflict of the Seven Years'
Some
throughout
of the American Revolution.
Louisbourg. Yet even after
it
traits
War was
really fought.
Ephraim Williams and Seth Pomeroy, were commissioned because
their standings within their
communities allowed
their ability to recruit.
Others, like
Rufus Putnam, rose to the rank of general by the onset of the Revolution from the lowly
position of private through a lifetime of service.
Soldiers
who
volunteered for campaigns
year after year rose in rank as their reputations and experience grew. The fact that rank
often followed ability to recruit led to the need for officers soldiers would follow.
England was a fragmented democratic
society.
both government and church. Though
this
county or provincial
New
Within the towns, election was the rule
democratic ideal was not so strong
levels, the soldiers within the
at
in
the
New England colonies enlisted often
of enlistment.
under local leaders, those they selected themselves through the act
Outsiders, however, could not expect the
same treatment. Strangers were
distrusted and
election and reputation.
shunned, so the structure of the military also involved
The system of the
citizen soldier
was
effective as well.
It
was
effective
enough
during the Seven Years' War, fewer
defeat the French at Louisbourg. Admittedly,
69
tc
opportunities
were presented
for this fact to be proven in a conventional fight while the
British establishment continued to relegate
and
fortification repairs.
more than some
match
specific,
By
most provincials to the tasks of road clearing
1763, British officers
still
viewed colonials as good
for
little
and ethically questionable, irregular fighting and certainly no
for professionals in a conventional battle. For the British officer, a system which,
in the northern colonies, relied
upon renewed enlistments every year and encouraged
loose relationships between officers and enlisted soldiers could never compare well
against professional, standing armies where cultured, educated superiors controlled
disciplined, unthinking subordinates.
would give
lie
Yet the beginnings of the American Revolution
to their assumptions and prejudice.
At the Battle of Bunker
Hill
on
in
June 1775, Massachusetts forces could only
loosely be termed an army. Artemus Ward, a veteran of Ticonderoga,
command of all
more
was given
forces by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts (though probably
the French
for his political connections with the country party than for his actions in
and Indian War) but each regiment fought quite separately. In
command of his
fact, Israel
Putnam,
in
Connecticut regiment, spent most of the battle around Bunker Hill (not
both newly arrived
Breed's Hill were most of the fighting occurred) trying to coordinate
forces and
some semblance of a
reserve. Despite
much confusion that
resulted
from the
coordination by the Provincial
ad hoc formation of troops and a lack oipotitieal
Breed's Hill that repelled the
Congress, Col. William Prescott mounted a defense on
so costly to the British that they
British regulars twice and resulted in a victory
were
arrival of artillery from Fort
eventually forced to abandon Boston, following the
Ticonderoga. With him in the redoubt on the
hill
70
was Maj. Gen. Joseph Warren who
refused to take over from Prescott because he had not received his formal commission
from the Congress
William
yet.
Howe directed
He
To begin
fought as a volunteer private.
his light infantry against the
his regulars in a frontal assault of the redoubt
Knowlton of Connecticut and
American
on Breed's
Col. John Stark of New
left
the assault, Maj. Gen.
flank while sending
Captain
Hill.
Thomas
Hampshire were defending the
left
flank behind a fence and stone wall, effectively destroying every British attempt to
overrun their position.
the
hill,
On the third
though they were never able to flank the position, largely because the American
forces ran out of ammunition.
The Americans fought a
with the British out of the earthen
remained
the
attempt, the British regulars gained the redoubt on
in the
American
fort and,
with the support of a company that had
flaming Charlestown and the forces
left flank,
rear guard action hand-to-hand
still
defending the fence and wall on
withdrew across Charlestown Neck to Cambridge."
Though Richard Ketchum,
writing in the early 1970's, characterized the
American force as untested farmers,
100
in reality
many of the
leaders and soldiers had
fought previously in the colonial wars. Seth Pomeroy fought as a private on the
American
left
flank that repelled General
Ebenezer Learned, the former captain
enter Boston after the British
left.
Howe's
who
Though
led his
light infantry
company
and regular forces. Col.
into desertion,
was
99
p.
137-84.
100
Ibid., p.
101
killed or
wounded.
101
American
Of the
casualties
Bunker Hill, (Garden City, NY: Doubleday
Richard M. Ketchum, Decisive Day: The Battle for
1973),
first
the British finally forced the American
the attackers.
withdrawal on their third assault, casualties were staggering for
almost 2300 soldiers involved, 1054 were
the
1H-2.
Ibid., p. 190.
71
& Co.
to
were
also high at around 450, but because of the successful rear action conducted by the
American
left flank,
only 3
1
prisoners were taken, most mortally wounded.
102
Though
the British took Breed's Hill that day, they lost Boston and removed their headquarters to
New
York. The colonial soldiers were told to hold their
aim for the
officers.
last possible
Howe
Though
moment and
lost his entire staff
The
ordered to do so and to
muskets were inaccurate, the order to
the death
toll
among
British officers
was
fire
came
Howe to
at the
Gen.
staggering.
and some of his remaining officers begged
i
and reevaluate the
their
fire until
pullback
no
situation.
results
of the Battle of Bunker
abilities to field forces
Hill
were a combination of New England's
capable on the battlefield (though perhaps not centrally organized
or properly supplied) and continued British prejudice against provincial armies.
According to Bernard Bailyn, Henry Clinton's suggestion to land the British behind
Breed's Hill would have been successful but was ignored by a cautious Howe. Though
is
quite probable that caution
Point, over-confidence
failed to gain the
was
American
was
a major factor in
Howe's
it
decision to land on Morton's
the reason he continually ordered frontal assaults after he
flank.
Furthermore, that over-confidence would have been
warranted had the Americans acted
in the
manner assumed by the
British.
They did
not,
adequate. The
however, and the defense conducted by Prescott was better than
prepared defensive positions,
leadership at the regimental level and below resulted in
high British casualties, especially
102
103
among
the officers, and a protected retreat.
Ibid., p. 181.
Bernard Bailyn, "The Battle of Bunker
Hill", http://www.masshist.orgA)h/essay.html.
72
The
British
officers'
assumptions of colonial ineptitude,
in the end, led the British
Army
to a victory
too costly to be repeated.
When he took over the
revolutionary forces in 1775, George Washington
was not
impressed with the caliber of officers and soldiers he found defending Boston. Yet
according to David Hackett Fischer in Washington
chief soon realized that there
was
's
new commander-in-
Crossing, the
merit in their methods and by the Battle of Trenton and
Princeton he was holding councils of war that encouraged autonomy in his regiments in
intelligence-gathering and led to a
new "American Way of War".
statement ignores Grenier's formulation of America's "First
incorporation of irregular tactics and violence;
democratic military leadership found
in
it
1
"4
Of course this
Way of War"
as an
does suggest an integration of
New England with a more European ideal
favored by Washington to produce the Continental Army. Though there have been
many
attempts in the recent historiography of the American past to discredit the idea of
105
exceptionalism, as Fischer
the evidence remains
While
it
is
states, "to
which
make
illustrates the
undesirable to interpret our
nationalism,
it
is
was
also unique.
And
it
David Hackett
own history
What can be argued
its
Fischer, Washington
as
its
society
institution
was
which
the
same
reflected
"exceptional" quality
influence on a national stage in
's
73
.
folly"
,
societies.
was
its
its
its later
as
we make
all
values and so
successes in the
history.
Crossing, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004),
Ibid., p. 379.
.
into a sort of iconographic
New England
367-75.
105
into a record of.
uniqueness of colonial American
produced a military
face of professional scorn and
104
American past
equally egregious to impose our values in such a manner that
our past devoid of all accomplishment.
societies, unique.
the
p.
19-22, 30,
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Books
A People's Army:
Anderson, Fred.
Years'
War Chapel
.
Hill:
Massachusetts Soldiers and Society
The University of North Carolina
in the
Seven
Press, 1984.
Anderson, Fred. Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire
British North America. 1754-1766 London: Faber and Faber Ltd., 2000.
in
.
Holger H. Herwig, and Timothy
History of Warfare Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 2002.
Archer, Christon
John R.
I.,
Ferris,
H E.
Travers.
World
.
Barker, A.J.
Red Coats London: Gordon Cremonesi,
Ltd., 1976.
.
Chet, Guy. Conquering the American Wilderness: The Triumph of European Warfare in
the Colonial Northeast Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2003.
.
Delbriick, Hans.
Downey,
The Dawn of Modern Warfare Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1985.
.
Fairfax. Louisbourg:
Key
to a Continent
.
Englewood
Cliffs: Prentice Hall,
1965.
Eames, Steven Charles. Rustic Warriors: Warfare and the Provincial Soldier on the
Northern Frontier. 1689-1748 University of New Hampshire: UMI, 1989.
.
Ferguson, Niall. Colossus: The Price of America's Empire
.
New York:
Penguin Press,
2004.
Fischer,
David Hackett. Washington's Crossing Oxford: Oxford University
.
Frey, Sylvia R.
The
British Soldier in America:
Press, 2004.
A Social History of Military L ife in the
Revolutionary Period Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981.
.
Grenier, John.
The
First
Wav of War:
American War
M aking on the Frontier,
1607-1814.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Ketchum, Richard M. Decisive Day The Battle
Doubleday & Co., 1974.
.
Kishlanski,
Mark
A.
The Rise of th e
Bunker Hi ll. Garden
for
New Model Army
.
City,
NY.
Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1979.
Kopperman, Paul
E.
Ruddock
at
the
Monongahela
Press, 1977.
74
.
Pittsburg: University
of Pittsburg
Malone, Patrick M. The Skulking Way of War: Technology and Tactics
England Indians Lanham: Madison Books, 1991.
Among the New
.
Sides,
Hampton. Ghost
Mission
St.
.
New
The Epic Account of World War IPs Greatest Rescue
York: Anchor Books, 2002
Soldiers.
John Williams, Noel T. Redcoats and Courtesans: The Birth of the British Army
(1660-16901 London: Brassey's (U.K.) Ltd., 1994.
Sweeney, Kevin. River Gods and Related Minor Deities: The Williams Family and the
Connecticut River Valley. 1637-1790 Yale: UMI, 1986.
.
Wright, Wyllis E. Colonel Ephraim Williams:
A Documentary Life
.
Pittsfield:
Berkshire
County Historical Society, 1970.
Essays
Bailyn, Bernard.
"The Battle of Bunker
Hill", http J/www, masshi st org/bh/essav ht ml
.
.
.
Levy, Barry. "Boston Sports: Masculine Play and the Growth of a Maritime City, 16401790". Five Colleges' Seminar, 2006.
Technical Manuals
Field
Manual 3-90.5 Heavy Brigade Combat Team Combined Arms Battalion, March
2005, Headquarters, Department of the
Army
Journals
Newbury port. .."
Cross Stephen Sarah E. Mulliken, ed. "Journal of Stephen Cross, of
Essex Institute, Historical Collections LXXV (1939), 334-357; LXXVI (1940),
'
,
14-42.
Middleton.
Fuller Archelaus. "Journal of Col. Archelaus Fuller of
Historical Collections. XLVI (1910), 209-220.
."
Essex
Institute,
'
Josiah Perry."
Peary, Josiah. "The Orderly Book of Sergeant
Genealogical Register, LIV (1900), 70-76.
Perry, David.
New England Historical
and
Volume #137 (1928),
"The Life of David Perry". The Magazine of History,
9-10.
75
Pomeroy,
Seth.
Wars
"The Journal and Papers of Seth Pomeroy". The Society of Colonial
in the State
of New York, 1926.
Putnam, Rufus. The Memoirs of Rufus Putnam Boston: Houton Mifflin and Company,
.
1903.
Shute, Daniel.
"A
Journal of the Rev. Daniel Shute, D.D., Chaplain in the Expedition to
Canada." Essex
Institute, Historical Collections .
76
XII (1874), 132-151.